Ann Lewin-Benham Photo
Photo of Ann Lewin-Benham

Random Thoughts

Because I am privileged to be, as my grandson says, "VERY old" and because my hair is gray, I can make suggestions.

On Family

If a cherished elder family member is compus mentus, get out the photo albums, label the pictures, ask for the stories that go with them, and jot them down.

On Young Children

Share your passions. From age 1-year for the next 5 or 6 years children are eager to learn, to please, to do exactly what you do, and to love what you love. They will adopt your stance, tone of voice, attitude, likes, and dislikes -- for better or worse. These are the years to intorduce them to things that will become lifelong pleasures -- rocks and shells, camping, music, tending plants, curiosity about insects, hiking, swimming . . . Above all, converse. Little children are full of big thoughts.

On House Breaking a Puppy

Don't expect too much before 4 to 6 months. If you catch her immediately after she messes:

Whenever the dog does her business outside:

Take her out frequently, always use the same door, and repeat saying "Bye-bye" as you race to the door and down the steps. Maintain the bye-bye, cookie, praise, and other routines. It is not necessary to hit her, make a loud frightening noise,or rub her nose in it because more than anything, a dog hates being called "bad" in a coarse voice.

Around 4 months, just when you think she'll never learn, she'll start to come to you insistently. PAY ATTENTION and get her out fast! Keep on with the "bye-bye," cookie, praise, et.al.

On Saving Resources

If you can carry your purchases without a bag, refuse the bag and tell the clerk you're helping the environment.

Take your own shopping bags to the grocery store.

Talk to your children about whatever environmentally protective measures you use.

Safest Weed Killer

Industrial strength (20%) vinegar. Spray directly on the weed (and only on the weed).

On Getting to Sleep or Back to Sleep

Get your spouse a good blindfold and read a book interesting enough to make you want to read it but tough enough to tire you out.

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