Button Pushers! (AKA: Sisters)

What is it about family that makes us push each others’ buttons?

Is it that we feel safe in the belief that no matter how or why we hurt each others’ feelings we’ll still be family — that old chestnut, blood is thicker than water?


Family is what anchors us. It’s the foundation for all other relationships. I recognize that not everyone has a loving supportive family and that can create unbridgeable distance between family members. But even in families where there is love and encouragement, there still may be contention and rivalry. (Sibling rivalry for example.)

Familial competition is such a waste of time and energy, not to mention emotion. It crates anguish, heartache, and bitterness that, for some, never ends. But what causes it?

Is it that parents aren’t always able to balance the needs of all their children all the time? And, unfortunately, don’t know how to help their children understand that they shouldn’t have to. That sometimes one child’s needs outweigh the needs of his or her siblings? What if it’s the same child who is perceived by the parents as being needy all the time? What about the children that are perceived by their parents as strong, self-sufficient, do they get the short end of the stick for being capable?

What causes one child to be a trouble maker and another to be everyone’s little darling? Is it something in our wiring or just the luck of the draw. What makes one child the caretaker and another the dictator? What makes one child meek and another a force to be reckoned with? Is it all tied to birth order? Is it in our genetic makeup or is it a conditioned response to our surroundings?

I’m not a psychologist or sociologist or any kind of oligist, except maybe a chocolatologist (is that in the dictionary!?!) so I know I don’t have all, or any, of the answers. Heck, I’m doing good this late on a Friday night to even be able to articulate a few questions. But I do know that families should be more understanding of one another than we are of other people. We should be more kind to each other than we are to other people.

We don’t have to blindly condone each others’ bad behavior but we should at least be as forgiving, if not more so, of our family members than we are of other people. We don’t have to like each other every minute of every day but we shouldn’t let a difference of opinion or a perceived lapse in judgment diminish our love for one another.

Family is irreplaceable. A friend can’t really be our sister or brother, our mother or father, our child or spouse. Friends are good to have for sure, but they come and go throughout our lives. Family is constant but it must be nurtured, protected, cherished, or it will be lost.

We’re family. When it comes right down to it, we’re all we have that is truly valuable.

Goodbye Fred

Our reliable old friend is gone.

Fred was always there when needed, day-in and day-out for 18 long years — he lived with me for eleven years and then with my daughter for seven. Sure, he had a few mishaps here and there but he just kept coming back strong, dependable, always on course, never-failing to amuse, eyes forward, always between the lines.

Ah, the memories …

There was the time we got lost out in the boonies.

Then there was that incident with the milkshake. (Chocolate milkshake spilled in Jeep, not pretty.)

Fred, you were such a good sport that time we loaded you up with mulch. (In bags but still smelly.)

And, the Christmas trees — I’ll never be able to smell pine without thinking of you, Fred.

Good times. Good times.

We mourn the loss of Fred, old reliable Fred, and cherish the time we had together.

Goodbye Fred and don’t forget to write!


Hello, new kid on the block!

Wish it was mine, but it’s my daughter’s.

Sniff, sniff.

(She’s such a copy cat!)

Then again, she now has car payments and I don’t!


Here a Peep, there a Peep, everywhere a Peep-Peep!

Wall O' Peeps

Wall O' Peeps (Photo credit: urtica)

I was reading a Freshly Pressed blog about Peeps and it got me started thinking about seasonal candy and how it seems to have taken over store shelves — not to mention my life. The more I thought about it the more I realized that it’s time to take a stand — I’m not a fan of Peeps. There! I said it.

When it comes to chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, though, now that’s a whole different obsession.

For awhile I bought into the theory that seasonal candy was not bad for you. (Now, I just buy it without wasting time thinking about it.)

I mean it only comes around once a year, right?

Wrong! Seems like it’s always some season or other that brings — you guessed it — candy. Half the year is candy season!


Candy? (Photo credit: KyuubiTamer)

Not convinced, let’s take a quick look …

It starts with Halloween. Candy, candy, and more candy.

No sooner do we get past that calorie laden fiasco than “the holidays” are upon us and the candy just explodes all over the place. There’s peppermint candy canes, and fudge with nuts, and fudge without nuts, and divinity, and, my personal favorite, chocolate covered cherries. Yum!

Just when I feel grateful for surviving another year’s candy laden holiday season, here comes Valentine’s Day followed closely by St Patrick’s Day, chocolate shamrocks and all.

Right on the heels of Cupid‘s favorite holiday comes Easter with chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and Peeps!

So whose fault is this?

I blame it on Hershey. You see, they nabbed me years ago when they started putting Hershey’s Kisses in different color wrappers. I can’t resist them.

An arrangement of HERSHEY'S KISSES brand produ...

Hershey's Kisses (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

I love the little Halloween Kisses in their Fall colored wrappers and Christmas Kisses in their red and green wrappers. And, let’s not forget the red and silver wrappers for Valentine’s Day and — for Easter — the pastels.

I am convinced that if they’d stop with the holiday wrappers, I could go the rest of my life without eating a single Hershey’s Kisses.

That doesn’t mean I would give up chocolate covered marshmallow eggs or chocolate covered cherries.

I’m not completely nuts!