Naughty Bella   7 comments


As the worlds naughtiest dog owner, I continuously find myself in a bind as a result of her bad choices. If naughty Bella were human, she would be one of those sweet and loving children with a raging case of ADHD along with the desire for freedom like a wild teenager craving to cut the home ties. Like most of those affected with ADHD, she is highly intelligent, so her strategic escape plans tend to outsmart all of us. Blessed with good looks, her cuteness saves her, because I often want to kill the stubborn canine.

Growing up with cats, I was never a dog lover, and don’t think that naughty Bella is turning me into one. Cats don’t eat all your underpants or wolf down your pizza order from the kitchen counter without even chewing. I don’t really like cats either though. Their poofy hair balls make me sneeze and cause me to scratch my own eyes out until I resemble a blood shot zombie. For months, Bella has reeked havoc as she spent her days chewing up half the house. If she didn’t eat it, she crapped on it, and she strives to maintain her mischief while creating a load of chaos for me.

One of my favorite incidents was recently when naughty Bella darted like a rocket blasting off right through the invisible fence line of the front yard in order to chase my minivan as we drove away. I feel forced to admit that it is a little endearing to witness her willpower to endure the shock in hopes of catching up with us. Mimicking a cheetah, her sprinting legs moved so quickly that I was forced to hault in the middle of the street or risk hitting her. My fear was how long and far she would follow us. As usual, I didn’t have extra minutes to spare, and my naughty dog was at large in the neighborhood. I reluctantly opened the sliding minivan door for her to climb in. Already feeling defeated, I find myself annoyed at her once again. Naughty dogs always have tricks, and she has mastered all of them by the age of one. She proceeded to stand in the middle of the street while refusing to acknowledge my efforts of accommodation. As a last resort, I enthusiastically called her name to join my taxi excursion to run children to practices and playdates. Her stubbornness caused me to resign, close the door, and proceed, but as predicted, she began to chase the car once again.

Naughty Bella was on a mission to manipulate the situation in such a way that I would eventually welcome her into my taxi. After the third attempt, she finally pleased each of us by jumping in the van, and settled into the shotgun position with her head out the window and an evil grin on her cheek.

This mornings mischief topped all of them. Naughty Bella forced her way into the minivan for the morning ride to school. With our typical lack of spare minutes, I once again had to resign, and fight the clock in order to prevent another tardy. Upon our arrival to school, I proceeded to open the sliding door of my taxi, and instead of the children piling out with backpacks, the naughty monster dog beat them to it. The children never get out of the car quickly at school, but within a tenth of a second, I found myself alone in the van while watching my passengers run down the exit lane of the parking lot.

Of course I’m unprepared, once again. Sporting my hello kitty jammie pants, and feeling apprehensive to get out of the car grew overwhelming especially when I realized the fact that I was missing two shoes. Clogging up the drop off line while I processed the events taking place, and pulling forward, I shouted at the kids to get inside the school and leave the mischief monster to mom. Many seconds ticked by during my attempt to convince the children to leave the escape artist and get inside. By the time they obeyed, I had lost track of the dog. When I began my desperate search for her, she had vanished without a trace.

There was no sight of naughty Bella, and each disappearing minute caused my panic to escalate. Thankfully, a friend offered to pick up where I had left off in order for me to regroup. I began my hysterical drive towards home in search of shoes, pants without hello kitty heads on them, and high hopes of returning with my husband in tow for reinforcement.

As I screeched into the driveway and flew into the house, my cell phone started jumping in my hand with a “blocked” caller ID. Anticipating the call to be the solution to my missing naughty Bella, I quickly slammed my finger on the answer button. Naughty Bella was found in the school cafeteria. Perfect. I couldn’t wait to trade my appearance for a more acceptable one in order to get up there and kill her. Obviously a sense of urgency was in order since there was a mischievous canine inside the “Bulldog Cafe”. I would provide the details, but under the circumstances, I wasn’t up for a conversation describing the order of events that led to the eventual capture of my dog that landed her at school with my children. Thank you to the school principal for spotting naughty Bella, and allowing her to chase, lick, and jump all over everyone while keeping her safe.

Naughty Bella returns.


Posted March 1, 2012 by Casey James Weekly in Uncategorized

The Tunes We Choose   Leave a comment

Like our preferences for anything, each of us have our own unique taste and attraction towards whatever it is that seems to draw us in, and music is no exception. The tunes we connect with individually seem to provide therapy. Our favorite tracks tend to soothe, excite, inspire and rejuvenate us, and more often than not, can alter our mood. Thanks to technology, we have been afforded the luxury of user friendly gadgets containing our library of therapy available at all times.

In it’s absence, music would be sorely missed. Imagine a round of cardio with no tunes. I’m not capable of darting out the front door in running shoes without the upbeat blaring excercise favorite that jump-starts my workout. Never fails to get me moving, and my body is trained to respond with running feet. The thought of taking off down the street on foot with only my racing heart and panting breaths to tune into, is enough to keep me indoors.

The magic of music is the flexibility and opportunity for each listener to interpret the meaning of a song as it relates to their own experiences. Song lyrics tend to describe our feelings when we crave an explanation, and sharing our favorite tracks is often used as a means of communication. The moments when we find ourselves at a loss for words are cured by the right song. Music provides solace when the message is something we can relate to or identify with. In turn, we become attached to certain tunes for personal reasons, but we don’t all love the same song for the same reasons.

It is never our position to judge or act critical towards others musical preferences, especially when we don’t care for it ourselves. As long as I don’t have to listen to repetitive plays of “Red Solo Cup,” I’m typically up for anything. Getting past our comfort level of a favorite genre, and opening up to unfamiliar ones can prove to be rewarding. If your one of those stuck to the same category of tunes since high school, then stop out of the box (And get ready for Casey James) 🙂 Ha!

Posted February 25, 2012 by Casey James Weekly in country music, Uncategorized

Nice Work Dad   5 comments

Looks like another sleepless night around here as I stand my post. Administering Gatorade and ibuprofen at 1am never fails to rob me of much needed zzzz’s. A sick cherub forces me into working what feels like overtime in my never ending role as “mom”, but we all know that it comes with the territory.

Dad is almost humerous in his efforts to nurture a sick child. While I allow him to think he’s the commander, I secretly take my “bed away from bed”, aka, the living room couch in order to oversee the situation. I can hear everything from here, and the old leather couch is surprisingly cozy.

Intently refraining from busting out in laughter as I peer in on dads caretaking efforts, I cannot help but reminisce about never ending nights of sick children that seemed to have transformed me from a rookie to a pro. Its no secret that moms have all the tricks of the trade. Witnessing dads efforts to break a fever starkly resemble myself 10 years ago when I was still wearing my mom training wheels.

Nonetheless, I should appreciate his efforts, and refrain from criticism. Wearing my doctor hat in the middle of the night, I silently diagnose the child, send dad out to grab the meds, offer my guidance as if it isn’t fact, and then step back and watch while secretly running the show. Then, from my hideout, I spy the sick child sitting up with an iPod, and dad is snoring. Wonder why mom has all the tricks of the trade?

So, my husband that earned his stripes for effort, since you crashed out, here’s what happened…A cough and a fever occur in our household approximately 6x a year. That’s once for each of us and an extra for Jake. It’s viral, and the doctor can’t do anything. But that’s ok, we got this. John tolerates a fever well, and allowing him to keep fighting it is in his best interest for his future immunity. When he can’t tolerate the fever any longer, give a dose of motrin a little less than the recommended. You want to take the edge off, but not make him feel so great that he begins looking for the dog. Spend waking episodes providing clear fluids, and Mountain Dew doesn’t qualify. He will be fine, and back to his naughty mischief by morning. Now that it’s 3am, and the entire house is comfortable and snoozing, it is my turn to catch 3 hours of sleep…except now Jake is up coughing.


Posted February 24, 2012 by Casey James Weekly in Uncategorized

Into the Night   Leave a comment

The children were fast asleep all tuckered out from a typical weekend of birthday parties, sleep overs and sports. My husband crashed on the couch only feet away from the scene. Rising at 4:30 in order to gain a head start on the week isn’t uncommon for a Monday, and minutes were consumed performing the morning ritual of cramming dirty laundry in the washer while keeping a watchful eye out for clean school uniforms. As I tiptoed across the hard wood flooring through the kitchen, I recognized the obvious vacancy on the planning desk that was typically consumed by a laptop. Feeling jolted, and straining to recall what I had done with it, nothing was surfacing. Moments later, a vague recollection of slapping it shut came to mind along with the sudden recognition of my missing purse.

As a feeling of dread washed over me, I darted through the eery silence to alarm my sleeping husband of my suspicions. The thoughts of someone coming into my home was growing heavier with each rapid step. It was seeming to be the only explanation, and last resort in a household of vanished items as everyone slept. Unforgettable seconds resembled minutes during my race towards the children’s rooms. Actually wondering if they were under their covers proved to be an indescribable moment of sheer panic.

Surely someone had slipped through the back sliding glass door, since it remained unlocked. Within seconds, the laptop, purse and my spouses wallet were swiped. The culprit slid out just as quickly as he had arrived. Thieves darted into the freezing night with my belongings that hold so little value to them and so much to me.

The morning ticked away quickly as we responded to investigative questions, and attempted to wipe up endless amounts of fingerprint dust. One detailed fingerprint had been lifted, but my hopes of finding this fearless criminal were not high. The daydreaming thoughts intermittently caused my mind to wander toward the fairly unrealistic idea of a cracked case.

Occasionally, a crime is solved by some miraculous order of events. Clearly evident in this case, as the precision and heroic efforts of a separate victim, like myself, was hot on the case. With an attempt to replace his stolen goods by searching online, he stumbled upon his own belongings, and decided to buy his things back.

After contacting police and setting up a time and place to purchase what was his to begin with, he knocked on the door occupied by the so-called “seller”, aka, the bad guys according to my 8 year old. Upon opening the door, police took the two suspects by surprise as they charged the resided hotel room, and discovered my belongings.

Being reunited with personal items after time spent with a couple of criminals is bitter sweet. Visions of my possessions traveling the path with a desperate stranger tend to resonate in my mind. At one given point in time, and out of my control, others had randomly decided that my things should be theirs.

As the suspects were apprehended, and hopefully soon to be sentenced for a decade, I cannot control my thoughts toward their families. I imagine at only 21 and 23 years old, that their parents are still alive to experience such a nightmare. While I was graciously reunited with my things, and granted a large dose of peace of mind, another mother was overwhelmed with feelings of failure, disappointment and extreme sadness. My Walmart laptop purchase at Christmastime had become someone else’s ride to jail. In a moments notice, my prayers strangely transformed from my feelings of safety to praying for the men who had taken it away.

To view the newscast click here.

Posted February 17, 2012 by Casey James Weekly in Uncategorized

Valentine’s What?   Leave a comment

Here we go again, another one of those commercial holidays. Catholics are the only ones to celebrate “Feast” days, but this one is different. This isn’t even on the Catholic calendar any longer since there is nothing known concerning St. Valentine except his existence and the meaning of the word.

So, what’s the big ruckus? Another overrated holiday? I’m sure of it. Quite possibly, retailers have nabbed up the opportunity to put stuffed animals with hearts on them along with a colorful display of candy in order to drum up business. Well, it works, and I find myself refusing to participate as this retailer concocted holiday only dents my wallet, and we don’t need any more stuffed animals for the dog to consume.

Couples don’t need a declared day to celebrate or recognize their love. It’s definitely more meaningful for a husband to arrive home with roses on a random day over an assigned one. People have grown to expect a gift from a significant other on Valentines day, and it becomes the topic of radio shows, conversation, and even tv series will incorporate the idea. It’s practically entertaining to think of all the silly shoppers who fret over a last minute obligatory gift to ensure they don’t walk in the door empty handed.

To the single ladies, especially, just sit back and giggle. No need to feel left out on this one, because you are missing nothing. If you feel the need for some candy, go buy some. If your worried about the sentimental stuffed animal, I’ll send you one. Ill attempt to wipe the dog drool off of it first.

Instead of the store bought junk, live everyday recognizing your blessings. Realize that a gift and even some words mean nothing compared to your actions that truly demonstrate your feelings. Don’t waste time saying your sorry, act like your sorry. Forgive, and try to forget.

Posted February 10, 2012 by Casey James Weekly in Uncategorized

New Years Eve   3 comments


It’s overrated. The fanciness, the plans, having someone to kiss at midnight. Really, it’s just another Saturday night. Leaving the house is certainly an overdose of drunks talking gibberish, and dancing like teenage girls while spilling their drinks and cackling. Not that I don’t plan on being one of them, because after all, if you can’t beat them, may as well join them.

When I was a kid, it was “pots and pans” day. We would always have a babysitter, and as children we struggled to stay up super late if we could manage it. At midnight, we would take sets of pots and pans to the front porch in hopes of making the most noise possible. The thought of banging cookware together right now is a cringing one, and it forces me to think of Advil over fun times. Funny as it may be, since “pots and pans” day was called just that, I had never related it to the official title of “New Years Eve”. Upon growing older, I had always wondered what happened to that day until it finally dawned on me in my twenties. A little late, yes, but better late than never.

As it goes, the sitter will arrive, the children will act like maniacs on a sugar high while I struggle to get ready for this overrated holiday that seems to force me out of the house wearing a sparkly shirt. Before too long, I predict I’ll be sporting some cardboard glittery head band while joining the drunks on the dance floor, and giggling like a 13 year old as fellow dancers bump into me causing my drink to slosh.

What’s the point? To assure that over half of Americans start the fresh year with a killer headache and severe fatigue? Doesn’t sound good, but the pizza place will certainly get my business as I attempt to recover from a late night with small children who will be sure to awaken by 7am. I will curse myself for last nights festivities as I scurry around the house with my pounding head in effort to prepare for the finally ending Christmas break.

So, if your one of the fortunate to stay home or refrain from the cocktails, be aware that you are getting a head start on your year over the party goers. Some of us may even feel bad through Monday. Happy New Year.

Posted December 31, 2011 by Casey James Weekly in Uncategorized

One Down, Two To Go…   1 comment

Here we go. The “Holiday season” is upon us. There’s no turning back, and it mimics some crazy expensive bounce house. The shopping funds and bank account will not be the same for the next 6 weeks.

I’ve decided to hang up black Friday, and I’m more than ok with it. Memories of waiting outside in the freezing, dark parking lot with a flock of desperate bargain seekers had it’s way of reinforcing the fact that I’m missing nothing. As a matter of fact, staying home gives me the feeling of taking a day off as if I snuck away with it.

Being aware that the prices are dropped on special items, the cost is compensated elsewhere, and the consumer is paying it. Stores are in the retail business, not the charity one. Unless only special markdown items are purchased, there isn’t really a deal. Why shop and stick to the list though? Impossible for me. Getting to the store alone is difficult, and I may as well pick up as much as possible when the opportunity has presented itself. Overall, there may be a dime saved on black Friday, but not enough dimes to pay the price of rude fellow shoppers and never ending lines.

We never financially plan or prepare for Christmas. In fact, right about September, I typically get put on the spending freeze. Quite irritating really, and I’m dumbfounded each year when I’m forbidden to spend any money 10 weeks out from Christmas. By February, we will return to throwing it away again, only to be caught with our pants around our ankles within a few months. Every single year I tell myself to plan, and I fail miserably.

Besides that, I’m floored at my children’s wish lists. My 9 year is asking for a pink laptop. News flash kid: your not getting a laptop. While she has a $500 request, the 8 year old is begging for a new DSi, and the funniest request is 4 year old johns’ dream to have his own iPod touch. So, it appears that we will be certain to have disappointed children on Christmas morning, and that’s perfectly OK. As a result, maybe the real meaning of Christmas will shine, and these spoiled brats will begin to appreciate all of the things they do have.

I’m going to eat chocolate pie and become a hero as I allow the kids to polish it off as I call it “dinner”.

Posted November 25, 2011 by Casey James Weekly in Parent category

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , ,