Tuesday, December 9, 2014

They Call Me “Mr. B.”

 I have fur the color of honey and eyes that melt your most determined resolve. If given half a chance, I’ll play tug-of-war with your pants leg and stretch my little self across your chest and sleep for hours on end.

To say that I have both a halo and horns is no exaggeration! Im a honey-colored babe that likes to snuggle and chew on anything that doesn’t chew back, from Mama’s bathrobe, the curtains, pieces of furniture–even the carpet. As for my bathroom habits, my house is my toilet. The bath mat, the carpet, the floor and maybe if I’m feeling gracious and accomodating, the newspaper. The outside is for eating leaves, worms and whatever else I can swallow.

But I love my Mama and the term “snuggle bunny” was meant for me. My name is Barnabas, but they call me “Mr. B.”
Note: Barnabas is the newest furry companion of writer Belinda Stevens. Learn more about her books atwww.belindastevens.com.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Memories

My favorite season is the fall. No other time of the year can compare–the winter is too cold, the summer too hot and the spring can be frightful with tornadoes threatening havoc. My autumn memories go far back to trick-or-treat activities, scary movies and wicked witch costumes, as well as football games– both high school and college. The county and state fairs were high on my to-do list.

As I grew older, my memories expanded to include pep rallies, dances at the armory and homecoming festivities. My early twenties were full of dates to college games, picnic lunches and getting together with friends after the big match-up. As I grew even older, the fall ushered in memories of the beginning of the holiday season culminating in Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with my family. I will always cherish the memories of lavish dinners with my parents and siblings, decorating for Christmas, shopping for presents and the beauty of midnight mass. 

Though most of my family is gone, the traditions and memories they inspired live on in the traditions and memories I have created with friends and family members that are still a part of my life. The fondest of these are set during the fall season.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What Not to Do When it Storms

First and foremost, let me say I don’t like loud noises - never have! As a puppy, I developed an early aversion to fireworks. I don’t even like it when my Puppy Mama loudly cheers her favorite football team to victory. I don’t mind the television broadcast. but clapping, yelling and jumping in place when something called a touchdown occurs is an assault on my floppy ears! I give her "the look". The same look Snoopy gives the Red Baron in the middle of a Dog-fight.

When it storms, I have the same reaction, but more intense. I have learned through experience and my Puppy Mama’s extended lectures that there are certain things no dog should do during thunderstorms. First of all, don’t get up in a chair full of books and knock them on the floor one by one. Don’t get under the bed and tunnel your way through boxes full of Christmas decoration at 2:00 o’clock in the morning. Absolutely do not try to dig your way through your owner’s oriental carpet. And last but not least, do not jump in the bathtub at 5:30 A.M. 

Yes, I did all of the above things. My Puppy Mama decided there was only one solution - to wrap me in a blanket and hold me.

And, you would be right to say I’m crazy - crazy like a fox, that is!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Flying The Friendly Skies


Whoever coined the phrase "Flying The Friendly Skies" would be less than accurate when referencing today's air travel.



The nightmare begins before you board a plane. My recent trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a perfect example of how unfriendly things can get. First, there’s the security check. It’s not enough that you have to take off your shoes, belt, certain jewelry and sweaters, you are also subject to random pat-downs, as well as body scanners which show hidden fat as well as anything else us senior citizens are likely to hide or camouflage.

Then there’s the boarding process. There is First Class, those in need of assistance, those with small children, those with Sky Miles, and then and only then does Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, etc. begin to board. Since every checked suitcase costs extra money, and I’m not talking about a few dollars, just about everyone opts for carry-ons. All this slows the boarding process to a snails pace. Once you make it to your seat and are lucky enough to find an empty overhead within a mile of your seat assignment, you have to tolerate the continual human traffic of those whose boarding process is yet to be completed. If you are stupid enough to require an aisle seat, this continuing process can be downright claustrophobic. Talk about getting up close and personal with your fellow man and his or her over-stuffed carry-ons!

If you are like me, you pay more to get economy comfort. I do this in order to stretch my arthritic legs. The problem is you don’t necessarily get what you pay extra for. It’s not much of a stretch, and there’s always a bald-headed man in front of me that pushes his seat so far back that his receding hairline is practically in my lap.

If you’re really lucky, you end up seated next to someone with a coughing or sneezing fit, or a large framed individual who takes up half of your space as well as their’s and last but not least, there’s the screaming baby whose lungs don’t give out until your two or three hour flight is coming to a merciful end.

If you want to go to the bathroom, make sure you do it before the drink and food tray block

the aisle space next to your seat. Since the aisles on a plane are barely wide enough for one person to walk without bumping into his or her fellow seated passengers, it’s next to impossible to get around the food tray. I use that term cautiously. Referring to the tiny packages of cookies and pretzels that the crew hands out as food is a gross exaggeration.

When your flight finally ends, you go through the excruciatingly slow process of deplaning. My sympathies to those who have another flight to catch and less than an hour to make a connection. Even if you do make your flight, there’s no guarantee that your checked baggage will arrive the same time you do. Another reason to pack light and carry one small suitcase. Which brings me to a very important piece of information. Ladies, some airports and airlines now consider your purses as extra carry-ons. Be forewarned of this new method of torturing female flyers.

If you are a senior citizen who requires a wheelchair, please note that you will be wheeled from one terminal to the next.. You will also have wheelchair access to baggage claim but nowhere else. If you need to catch a cab or stop for any other reason, you’re on your own. Hope you have a cane or a walker to get where you need to go.

By the time you get to your destination, you want to kneel down and kiss the ground in celebration that you’ve finally arrived even if your dignity and sanity are somewhat damaged.