Making right food choices

We take so many things for granted and often don’t realize how blessed we really are in the scheme of things. As most know, I have to eat gluten free and have managed it for five years now.
What I would give to be able to eat a KK doughnut or a DD doughnut but I can’t. If I happen to give in to that craving, I end up regretting it for several days as it makes me sick. Sometimes very sick. So it’s something I have to forgo and at times of stress, cravings kick in which can almost be overwhelming. It’s not worth the pain and sickness and as time passes it does get a little easier. But there are those days, especially when someone else is eating something and you smell it, that you really want it.
Gluten-free foods have gotten a little better than five years ago. With some experimentation, I can now pretty much substitute flours with gluten free versions and you can’t really tell the difference. But it hasn’t been easy and there have been some failures along the way.
David and I are still working on a homemade pizza crust recipe that works for us but haven’t found it yet. My husband does a lot of the cooking at times — yes, I’m blessed — and he always makes sure it’s gluten free for me. Having seen me get sick from it, he’s happy to help me avoid it.
I have to admit though, there are those times when I do cave in and have a piece of bread that is not gluten-free. Sometimes it bites me, other times not. Sourdough bread doesn’t seem to bother me like other breads. No yeast rolls for sure. But I don’t indulge all the time, just once in a blue moon.
Now that my youngest daughter is also eating gluten free, I have had to experiment a little more. When she wants something fried, I always get a call. My fried okra, mushrooms and fried green tomatoes taste just like the ones everyone else makes. As does my fried chicken fingers and mac and cheese and other pasta dishes.
Fortunately, many restaurants also now offer gluten free versions of some dishes. I have found though, that some things I thought were gluten free, aren’t and if I eat them at a restaurant, there could be repercussions. So, when in doubt I opt for other choices.
Haven’t found a gluten-free hamburger bun that doesn’t taste like cardboard though. Have found sandwich bread. I also have found some gluten-free doughnuts and while they are good, they are not the same as the gooey KK ones. A carrot cake I found at an Atlanta bakery, is actually better to me than the gluten-loaded version. When we make that trip, we try to stop there and bring home several items you can’t get anywhere else.
Even some chocolate items have gluten in them and since I love chocolate, I have to watch those items as well. You would think after a while, I would not be as sensitive to it, but I have found, the longer I am off it, the more sensitive I have become to gluten.
I have also been working on cutting my sugar consumption. I believe sugar is one of the worst things you can eat. It also becomes addictive. I have been experimenting with other natural sugars like coconut and stevia. David has a reaction to Zylitol so I can’t use it. In an effort to make a 14-layer chocolate cake recently, which actually turned out to only be eight layers, I discovered that you cannot use stevia in an icing recipe that has to be cooked. It tasted awful and I’m just glad I tasted it before I tried putting it on the cake. The gluten-free layers were okay, not wonderful like I was hoping and the cake didn’t look that great but I tried and it was the first attempt. Since I never attempted to make a regular 14-layer chocolate cake, I give myself an A for effort.
Coconut sugar works for most things but not all. If gluten and sugar reduction weren’t enough I am also supposed to work on reducing dairy. It hasn’t been that hard except when it comes to ice cream. You can use coconut and almond milk for substitutions in most things but for icings it does give it the flavor of whatever milk you are using. I also do not like it for ice cream and the non-dairy store versions leave a little to be desired.
Being gluten-free has become a lifestyle choice and it’s not always easy but I think my health is at least better for it and my Hashimoto’s stays in check. My daughter also says she can tell a difference in how she feels after eliminating gluten. She is not intolerant like me, so she has cheat days without the sickness I experience at times if I try to cheat.
We are the food we eat and the food we eat these days is not as healthy as it was in our grandparents’ day. Too many chemicals are used as well as genetically modified seeds are used. If we really knew what they did to our food and what was in it, we’d all probably starve because we wouldn’t eat anything from the store or a restaurant. The fact that I love to garden, is another reason to grow your own food and to support local farmers who don’t use GMOs. I’ve enjoyed sharing foods from my garden this year. I’m hoping we can get a neighborhood garden started which could be bigger next year. We’ll see.
Being conscious of the food you eat,  is just another of those choices we are faced with in our lives and I choose to eat healthier and pay attention to what’s in the food. Blessings to you.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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With freedom comes responsibility

July 4th has come and gone but we need to think about what freedom really means. The Fourth of July holiday is not just an extra day off. It should mean much more to us.

If you look up the word freedom in the dictionary, it will give you several definitions:
•the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
• absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
• the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
• the state of being physically unrestricted and able to move easily.
• (freedom from) the state of not being subject to or affected by (a particular undesirable thing).
• the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
• unrestricted use of something.
• archaic familiarity or openness in speech or behavior.
What it doesn’t tell you, is that freedom comes with a price and is not actually “free”. It also will not say that with freedom comes responsibility.
While we do have free speech, we shouldn’t automatically shoot off our mouths without thinking about what we are saying. Doing so, sometimes has consequences. If our speech is of hate or will detrimentally harm another human being, we need to find a way to keep our mouth shut. How many friendships are lost because someone wasn’t responsible enough about what they said. That doesn’t mean you don’t speak truth. Just because we are guaranteed freedom of speech does not give us a carte blank check to spew out hate. Having real freedom of speech, means being responsible for what you say.
In today’s world we are slaves to our cell phones and to technology. When you look at it in those terms, it doesn’t seem so good. While we may not be able to totally be free of our cell phones, we do not have to be chained to them so much. If you can’t put it down long enough for a conversation, there is a problem.
Our men and women in uniform serve on battlefields around the world to help keep us a nation free from tyranny and government oppression. That doesn’t give us the right to do anything we want to do. We must be responsible for our actions.
Our forefathers escaped tyranny and oppression and that’s why they wanted to form a sovereign nation. They painstakingly penned the Declaration of Independence. We would do well when we celebrate July 4th to reflect on these words from the document and what they really mean and ask that our government leaders take it to heart and make changes. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Our country is not perfect and right now we are in a transformation period. But what we have here is still better than any other place on earth. Things in Washington have gotten out of control and our forefathers would want it to be restructured back to the way it was originally meant to be: “Government by and for the people”.
Freedom doesn’t mean we do not have responsibility to our government or that we don’t give it what it is due (give Caesar what Caesar is due).
Freedom doesn’t mean that you should just sit and do nothing. When God freed the children of Israel it wasn’t so they could relax by the pool and drink iced tea for the rest of their lives. He set them free so they could fulfill their mission to become a “light to the nations”. They had a responsibility and though they were free, God was teaching them to be His servant. Freedom has responsibility and for the Israelites it was to serve God.
Yes, freedom is not only my right and your right but the right and privilege of every human being on earth. However, we must not forget with it comes great responsibility. Not just for ourselves but for our fellow humans as well.
Technology has freed up some of our time, but are we using it wisely and being responsible with our time. Just as the children of Israel had a responsibility, we have the responsibility to use our freedom appropriately.
Hopefully, you enjoyed some time off for Fourth of July activities. Some military men and women paid with their lives so you could still enjoy yours. If you didn’t reflect on what Independence Day really means over the July 4th holiday, stop and do so now. It’s important we remember and that we don’t take our freedoms for granted or let them be trampled.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Lord, we need help

I never thought that I would see so much hatred in the world. The Bible does tell us it will happen and it gets worse every day, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. It strikes at the very core of my soul in disbelief.
No matter what happens or what is said, someone has to spew some kind of hate talk. It’s unnecessary. I was taught if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Seems today all anybody can think to say is something hate filled.
I have not always agreed with Newt Gingrich, but he recently said that hate has become accepted because it has been spouted from those in authority and those people put on pedestals such as the Hollywood elite. It has even come from the mouth of a former president.
But, even if that is the reason it is accepted by society, it’s still not acceptable in my book. We should know right from wrong and when we think it’s okay to depict someone being decapitated or assassinated as a joke, something is very wrong. I have always said, some things you just don’t joke about. I still feel that way.
We can point fingers and blame everywhere but it all comes down to each of us being responsible for our actions, our thoughts and our words. Yes, the internet has been a big influence, especially social media. But we can unplug from that and we don’t have to let it influence us. We even see it on some television shows. In fact, in today’s society, it’s even hard to get away from a TV, as every restaurant and many stores have them blaring. But we don’t have to watch those shows or be influenced by them.
Don’t like our past history? Well, let’s change it by taking down monuments and pretending it didn’t happen. It doesn’t work that way, folks.
Video games depict shooting someone and them dying, as coming back to life. That’s not real. We’ve lost the ability to live in reality and have become immune to truth. In trying to correct any of this, we like traditional modern medicine, we treat the symptoms, not the cause or real problem. Kind of like putting a band-aid on an artery that is bleeding profusely in hopes it will stop it.
We think the answer lies in building more prisons, hiring more law enforcement, using metal detectors and the list goes on and on for treatments which do not get to the root of our society’s problems.
It is a heart problem. We have become selfish, not caring about anyone else and caught up in the fad of the day. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can fathom it?”
In spite of what many may claim or say, our founding forefathers accepted the principles in the Bible and the truth as found in the Bible. Upon that foundation, our country was based. Even our constitution is based upon the basic principles found in the Bible.
I’m not saying all of the founding Fathers were all Christians, they weren’t. But they were all familiar with the principles of the Bible and they agreed with them. These principles were reinforced in children, not only by citizens, but by the church, the schools and our families. If you misbehaved at school, you got in trouble at home. Bad behavior was dealt with immediately and strictly. Neighbors would help keep any unruly children in line. If you didn’t follow the Bible, you followed the Golden Rule. Because of the reinforcements from all encounters, previous generations were people of high principles, whether they were Christians or not.
Not so today. Parents are more to blame the teacher than the child acting up and heaven forbid if you try to correct a child that is misbehaving.
If the reinforcement of good behavior, following the Golden Rule and/or the Bible was still demanded by society, we would not see all the hatred going on that we see today.
But then, we took God out of our schools and while the slide into the sewer had already begun, it became even more slippery and continued at a faster pace. Universities became more liberal in their thinking and even began to discount the teachings of the Bible. Churches began to teach a more social Bible than truth from the Word of God. These impacted our future teachers and leaders and altered previous ways of thinking which did not allow God’s teachings in our schools.
The catchword of the day became tolerance. Tolerance for everything, whether it was right or wrong, even evil. And we began to let feelings and emotions, which are fickle, rule.
I daresay our Constitution is all that is holding our country together though it gets trampled upon and many would like to just ignore it and use it only to hide behind it when it benefits them and their selfishness.
The structure of the family has changed. Parents try to be friends to their children before they are parents to them. And they let them make decisions toddlers have no right to make or the experience. You can be friends to your children when they are grown, but until that time, they need parenting and direction.
Home is no longer a place of security but only a place to eat and sleep. Parents feel they have to keep their children involved in one thing or another and video games have taken the place of reading. Imagination is stifled with today’s technology and children grow up way too fast. There is a constant desire for more and more, but more doesn’t seem to satisfy. Parents are too busy trying to make a life, they fail to actually live and they pass this on to their children. Living is more than a constant state of doing things and activities.
We complain about everything instead of being grateful. If we are inconvenienced in any way, we complain. If things don’t go our way, we complain. If it rains we complain and if it doesn’t we complain. We complain about our jobs, our children, our spouses and everything in between. We aren’t thankful for anything because we are too selfish and didn’t get our way.
To rectify our current situation in society, it will take a concerted effort. It will take a lot of prayer from everyone and standing on II Chronicles 7:14. It will take returning to the basic Biblical principles and teaching them to our children — kindness, love, compassion for the less fortunate, helping those in need, slowing down and really smelling the roses and being thankful for what we have instead of striving for more and more material things. It will take not accepting what is wrong as right and not complaining about everything constantly. Pray harder than ever; pray without ceasing. If everyone would do this, we would see a difference in our society. Blessings.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Memories comfort us

Once your father is no longer with you, Father’s Day is not quite the same. Mine is always in my heart and I’m blessed to have some wonderful memories. It’s been 16 years, which is hard to believe and while it does get a little easier, there is always that hole in your heart.
There are always days, I would like to pick up the phone and hear him say “hey doodlebug” or “doodle” , his pet name for me. He called me that because I was always writing or drawing something.  We also had a lot of what we called doodlebugs in our backyard and I was always asking him about them.
For any question I had about things going on in my life, especially about gardening or politics, Daddy always had an answer. We disagreed over politics most of the time but there was always a healthy back and forth exchange of ideas and opinions. There were times he goaded me about something political to get a rise out of me. It was something he got a kick out of and made him chuckle.
There are times a girl just truly needs her daddy to make things right. Lately, I have had a lot of questions about the garden. I know quite a bit, but when things go wrong or plants don’t perform as in the past or as they should, I want to know what to do differently. Daddy could always tell me. I’ve found myself talking out loud wondering what Daddy would tell me to do to get my tomatoes back on track.
Special days like his birthday, the date of his death, holidays and Father’s Day tend to bring up more memories.
This week I was just thinking about an accident I had which I never told daddy about. He had a yellow Chevrolet truck. Not sure the model but I think it was a 1962 or 64 which he had bought after I was born. He had the truck all of my life up to that point. It was summer and daddy was on TDY overseas. I only had a learner’s permit. My brother and I decided we wanted to go downtown. I don’t remember the reason, but I am sure it was my brother’s idea!
You got it. I grabbed the keys to the truck and we headed downtown. To turn that big ole’ truck, I had to place all of my weight behind it. To top it off, it was a straight shift, but Daddy had made sure, that was what I learned to drive on first.
We were headed home and stopped at a stop sign on Second Street. Another car turned too sharp onto the street and hit the driver’s side light on the truck. I was upset and it didn’t cross my mind until later, but the kids in the car, older than my brother and I, acted very strange. They were smoking who knows what.
I didn’t know whether to wait on the police or not but I knew I would be in trouble with only a learner’s permit. The truck did not have any damage at all and the other car, only a slight dent.
We talked about what we should do and everyone decided it wasn’t enough damage to get the police involved, so we all left. There was no insurance information exchanged in case we changed our minds; no tag numbers or phone numbers given out. Bubba and I went home and I washed Daddy’s truck to take another look and make sure there really wasn’t any damage. There wasn’t but I was practically holding my breath the whole time until after Daddy got home and didn’t notice anything about the truck.
It was my first and last time doing anything like that and fortunately I turned 16 at the end of that year and got my license. Over the years, I forgot about that incident and I don’t know why the memory of it surfaced last week.
In retrospect, knowing my Daddy, had I told him, I would have gotten a lecture on why we shouldn’t have done it and what could have happened. Secretly, he would have smiled about it. It was a mild stunt compared to some of the ones he pulled while he was growing up that he told us about.
Another memory which cropped up was when I almost drowned in Cochran at Lake Linda. I could swim but I stepped in a hole which was over my head and I panicked. I was seven at the time. I was going under for the third time when Daddy lifted me up out of the water. He had shoes on and was fully clothed. It was the first time ever I saw the look of panic in his eyes.
I was more worried that he had gotten his shoes wet, something Mom was always warning us about. He smiled and just said they would dry out. I was sent for more swimming instruction after that incident and many years later would become certified as a lifeguard.
Daddy loved coffee and no one could make it as strong as he did. He was about the only one who could drink his coffee. He always drank it black. It tasted awful to me and had I not tried coffee made by someone else, I probably would have never started drinking it. There was not enough sugar and creamer in the world to make his drinkable for me.
We always sang together. Daddy played guitar and I the piano. But on long trips we would sing acappella. Since he went to heaven, in times of stress or when I feel down, two songs we sang the most always come to mind. They comfort and strengthen me: On the Wings of a Dove and Rainbow of Love.
Sometimes memories may make us sad and miss the person even more. But memories keep those we love alive and bring us comfort when needed and I am thankful for the memories of times with my Daddy.
Happy Father’s Day!©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Stop the insanity please

Can we please get through one whole week without someone having a mental breakdown or pitching a hissy fit over something that President Trump has or has not done?
I, for one, like to keep up on current events but lately, I’d rather be kept in the dark. First off, because, it may or may not be the truth; and secondly, someone is going to put a spin on it which will make me want to scream.
I just can not wrap my head around all the nonsense. There are so many really big issues and things to do that we want to make even something small and insignificant, into something monumental. Trump is the President of the United States and I think it’s time everyone got over it and moved on. Let him do his job and don’t have a mental breakdown every time he does something you don’t agree with or don’t even understand in the first place.
I will not comment on the ugliness of a certain comedienne, as I think she has mental problems and won’t give credence to her insanity.
Let’s separate some of the falsehoods and the facts of the Paris Climate agreement though, since some people are up in arms.
First of all, it was not a binding agreement. Second of all, it does not mean the world is going to burn up as some would have you believe. Thirdly, it was going to cost the United States billions of dollars and countries like China and India, were not required to pay money for 15 years or meet the goals, but the U.S. was impacted immediately. That doesn’t sound fair to me.
The United States already does many things toward stopping our slaughter of the environment. Some scientist say it’s a hoax, much like Al Gore’s carbon credits he sold for a lot of money. Others disagree.
Yes, I believe we do impact our world and our climate by the way we live and things we use. I think everyone should do their part. However, I believe God is in control of the weather and our world, and He will take care of things according to His purpose. In other words, it’s not something  I lose sleep over. One day, this world is going to end no matter what we do or don’t do. God has all of that worked out.
President Trump did not say he wouldn’t sign a different agreement but he thinks the current one is bad. After reading just some of it, I agree that it’s bad for America. Personally, I also think it was one more step toward globalization and is more like global income redistribution.
Despite what some like Nancy Pelosi are saying, not being in the accord, does not cripple our future and does not mean efforts won’t be made toward renewable energy and taking care of our environment. The sky is not going to fall. Remember the agreement was non-binding anyway. Each country set their own goals and those could have changed at any time. In fact, they don’t even have to meet any of the goals. We could have stayed in the pack and done nothing, except give other countries a billion dollars. That’s money we can use right here in America for reducing pollution or other worthwhile issues. There is no guarantee those countries would use the money for the purpose intended and there was no oversight for accountability. I’m not even sure some of those countries were ever truly serious about reducing emissions in the first place; they just wanted the money. Why should we place a burden on our citizens here to for other countries to do their part in cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions? China is one of the worst offenders. Just because you have an agreement, does not mean anything actually gets done. You shouldn’t have to have an agreement for countries to do what they should be doing to take care of the world in the first place. The agreement, in reality, didn’t solve problems, it only postponed them. It makes it seem as if countries care about the environment when it is really about money — climate finance not change. Yes, some may really care, but I wouldn’t say the majority do.
It would have crippled the coal industry even more than it already has been impacted and a rebound may not even be possible. Just in case you care, the agreement was signed by President Obama, without approval of the U. S. Senate which is required by the Constitution, so a case could be made it was actually illegal. We don’t need to be part of a pact to do what needs to be done for our environment or any other area either. While reports say you have to give a year’s notice and then it takes three years to be officially withdrawn, since it was not done in accordance with our Constitution, and since it is non-binding, I don’t see how they can hold us to that part either.
I believe you should take care of your own home first. If you can’t even do that, how can you help anyone else. We have let things in America slide for way too long. Trump made the campaign promise to get us out of the agreement and that’s what he did. He kept a campaign promise which is very rare these days.
Before we implode, let’s breathe deeply and try to find some common sense among all the craziness. Let’s give President Trump a chance and let’s up our prayers for him and our country. I think our country is worth it. Don’t you?©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Sharing the blame

When a store closes we want to point fingers at everyone else and everywhere else. But in reality, we have to share some of that blame ourselves. When we buy something on line that we can buy from a local retailer, we have not only hurt the local economy but shortchanged ourselves from having human interaction.
Shopping locally puts money back into the economy which the governmental entities use to provide services and upgrade infrastructure.
Yes, I agree it is sometimes easier to shop on-line and I am as guilty as anyone else because I do buy things on line at times. Most things I do buy on line though, I can’t get locally. I make an effort to buy local as much as possible, even at local stores, I’m not all that crazy about. It’s being a good citizen thing for me and supporting the community.
These days people even shop for groceries on line. I detest grocery shopping but I force myself to do it when David can’t do it. Sometimes I run into people I haven’t seen in a while, which makes the task much more enjoyable.
I fear one day, towns will completely disappear because no one is shopping at the actual stores. We’ve already witnessed the demise of some due to on line shopping. I wouldn’t go so far as to say on line shopping is evil, but it is detrimental to our retail stores. Many of them also have on line shopping which to me should be for things which they don’t have in the store and should complement the actual store setting.
If you compare in-store sales to on-line sales you will find a wide gap.
Personally, I am one of those who likes to actually see and touch what I am buying for the most part so going into a store is necessary for that. Looking at a picture of what you are buying is just not the same. I also want it now and don’t want to have to pay extra for shipping and wait a week.
Facebook has also now jumped into the game, enticing us with ads from retailers. Some are very enticing but with all the virus threats which can come from clicking on things on social media, I am more conscious about what I click on so refrain from doing so 99.9% of the time.
I do not want to make purchases over my phone either, as there are too many security breaches and your personal information is out there floating around in cyberspace for hackers to grab. No matter how secure it claims to be, nothing is infallible in today’s world of cyber hackers.
The way we do business is changing but if you want to keep customers coming into your store, I believe having great customer service is a giant step. I will go back into a store where I received great customer service over and over again before I will buy something over the internet. Buying in store, is keeping employees of that store, working.
It’s a mindset we have to adapt and not everyone gets it. If their favorite store closes, and they have been buying on-line, people won’t put two and two together and realize they are partially to blame.
Of course some retailers can also blame themselves for loss of customers. Lack of or bad customer service puts a bad taste in a customer’s mouth. Not ever having what the customer is seeking is another killer. Not having unique items to grab the customer can be another.
Today, things are just so very different and each of us has to find our way to maneuver through the technological advances and the ever changing times. It certainly is not easy most of the time. But no one ever told us life would be easy.
I do worry about our mindset on buying in our communities though. It’s important that we support them and that we support each other.
As a child a trip downtown to a store was such a treat and a special time for mom and child, or friends. Not so anymore. It is becoming more of an anti-social world where people hardly even communicate over a meal anymore because they are too busy checking their phones. I wouldn’t have a problem with restaurants requiring that you leave your cell phones in your car and not bring them in with you.
It is rude to me to interrupt a conversation to answer a cell phone or to carry on a conversation in a store where everyone can hear what you are saying. But we’ve become accustomed to and acceptable of such behavior. It’s more the norm today. Sad, but true. I’ve even witnessed people texting someone who is in the same room with them. Really!
We have to become more intentional about our relationships and our communities. Realize that you are investing in your community when you shop there. Make an effort to buy things locally when possible. Turn your phone off for an entire meal. Go shopping with a friend. Take a tour of your community and really take in what it has to offer. It takes a conscious effort but is so worth it. Your community’s future depends on it. Blessings. ©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.

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A dog’s life

Roxie, our boxer and four-legged child has become a con-artist. She gets a treat every morning but I recently discovered she has been getting at least two every morning. Each morning she will go over near the sink and sit because she has to sit to get a treat. She will sit there expecting a treat until one of us gives her one. But if David is first on the scene, she gets one from him and then when I come into the kitchen, I give her one. We didn’t realize this until recently when we were talking about her birthday. We just assumed because she was still in the sitting position, she hadn’t been given a treat.
She was actually born on Mother’s Day five years ago. Saturday, May 13, 2017,  was her birthday. We celebrated with vanilla ice cream which she loves, a doggie cookie and a new toy.
She has brought us so much joy since we got her, even though I kind of forced David into letting me get her. Boxers are a special breed anyway but Roxie has some traits which aren’t the typical ones you would expect. She is skittish about a lot of things. A sneeze will make her run and hide. It’s okay for you to cough, but not sneeze. We haven’t figured out why it bothers her.
If we say it’s okay for someone to come into the house, then she’s fine but if we don’t say it’s okay, you are not going to get into our house. If by chance you do, you will get attacked.
She tries to talk to get our attention. She used to whine when she wanted to go to bed because she wanted us to go as well. She finally gave up on that and just goes to bed. But getting up in the morning is a different story. You must get up when she decides for you too because she is not going to leave you alone unless you do.
If David and I happen not to get up together, she will not have it unless the other one gets up. She will come into the room, trying to talk, bumping her tail into the wall or dresser. If that doesn’t work she jumps on the bed and will bounce or stand on you until you get up.
We now know why they cut off a Boxer’s tail, because it is a lethal weapon. But she was too old to do that when we got her. She doesn’t like going outside by herself and expects one of her humans to accompany her. It’s not that she stays with you, she just wants to know you are outside with her.
Like many dogs she doesn’t like bad weather. She will hide behind a chair, or under the bed, depending on how bad the weather sounds are.
When we are getting ready to take the camper somewhere, if you ever open the door to the truck, she will get in and sit there until you leave. She wants to make sure she doesn’t get left behind.
She usually especially enjoys the beach. This past beach visit, though, she was ready to come home. At home she doesn’t have to have a leash because our yard is fenced and she can roam freely. On vacation, she has to be on a leash, which she accepts but doesn’t really like.
While on vacation, she also expects to eat whatever we are eating. We made that mistake of giving her some of our food on trips and now she expects it and won’t eat her dog food the whole trip.
She really is a good dog though and minds pretty well. She is not one to let you put any kind of clothing or hat on her though. She will have none of it. She loves running through the water and playing in it but she doesn’t like baths and won’t go swimming with us.
She’s really too big to be a lap dog but she thinks she is one. She will demand attention sometimes.
While in your lap, if you try to look at your phone, she will knock it out of your hand. She expects all of the attention.
I have tried to talk David into getting her a companion dog because she would have someone to play with her all and not expect her tired parents to do it all the time. He won’t have any of it, as he says we can’t have two dogs in our bed. He’s right, of course, because sometimes now we can’t get in bed due to the fact that she is sprawled across it. Once she has gone to sleep, she doesn’t want to move either.
I still think we could work it out and teach them to sleep in their own bed if there were two of them. I’m not going to win that one though. We sure wouldn’t have room for two in the camper.
David actually bought the camper for Roxie. Hotels that allow dogs, charge you more, and he didn’t want to leave her when we went on vacation. He was afraid she would be too sad without us, so opted for a way to take her with us.
Every year when planting a garden, she helps me dig. Only problem is, she thinks it’s okay to dig after everything is planted. She has about learned to stay out of the garden, except when it’s being watered because she likes getting water from the hose. She’s like a kid about it.
She loves to chase squirrels and when she chases one up a tree or a pole, she will stay there as long as the squirrel does. One night, after many hours, we had to force her to come inside because the squirrel was still on the light pole and when it moved, she moved and barked.
Ah, the life of a spoiled, rotten dog. They make us laugh and bring us joy for the journey.©2017
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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