Life is all consuming. Sometimes we become overwhelmed with all the details.  For many people work is all consuming.  They become so involved that they forget about their families. They believe that by working late they are doing the best job they can for their families.  Sadly, they are not.  If they allow the job to overcome them, they end up with no family, poor health and very few friends.  There are videos all the time on the internet on Facebook about dads and even mums trying to earn money and working late just to please their boss.  In the end, many of the hard working people end up without the promotion, the raise or a corner office because they weren’t savvy enough to play the politics game. They thought that their work would shine and it did.  However, frequently a co-worker would take credit, claim that the employee was part of his or her team, etc.  It’s not fair but that is the real world.  There always needs to be a balance.  Respecting yourself and your family needs to placed above your job. My late husband would become all consuming on the few occasions he made breakfast.  He liked eggs over easy.  However, if it broke, he threw it away.  There were times he would throw out almost a dozen of eggs.  In the Good Gus series, children tend to be all consuming when it comes to playing.  In book twenty, “The Flying Cat,” JC becomes all consumed in rescuing a cat. He even risks himself.  The series is available at Kindle with a few books on Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” has characters who have one all consuming goal in mind.  That is to get all the money and cheat everyone else.  The book is available at these fine websites: 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.


 Everyday there seems to be more cruelty in the world.  A nine year old boy, after being bullied at school, ended his life.  The cruelty of his classmates is unfathomable.  Is it possible that there is so much violence on TV and in games that children are emulating it?  A nine year old should be worrying about homework, how much he or she can play outside, and if their dinner will be one of their favorite meals.  You can’t help but wonder how the parents of the bullies feel knowing that their cruelty destroyed another human being and devastated his parents.  It seems that children are expected to  mature at an alarming rate.  They need to just be children.  They should be learning positivism in life rather than all the negative that continues to bombard the world.  It may be that it is only  the U.S. that all this  occurs as it is in the news, but  you don’t hear about it from other countries.  I suspect that this type of behavior is not limited to the western culture but to all cultures.  People feel inferior and once they realize they can push at another person, they feel a sudden sense of power and see how far they can go.  Possibly in education, there should be more conscious awareness of what is really right and wrong and not what is perceived by the media.  In the Good Gus series, available on Kindle, book one clearly shows Bad Bart as a bully.  The lessons from the books give children the opportunity to understand that problems don’t need to be settled with any type of cruel behavior.  Cruelty comes easily to many of the characters in “Misplaced Trust.”  You would be surprised how people behave towards individuals they cared about at one time when money is involved.  The book is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

I knowHow many times have you heard someone say, “I know” when in reality they didn’t. Its a simple phrase, yet people use it all the time without thinking. When you are discussing a topic with a person, often they say “I know” and do you ever wonder if they really do know what you are speaking about? Many times children are busy playing video games, riding their bikes, throwing a ball around or fooling with something when you ask “Aren’t you supposed to be doing your homework?” Their reply is “I know, I will finish in a minute” which usually leads to nagging until they reluctantly agree to do their homework. Have you ever been speaking to a co-worker explaining something and they are nodding their head repeating, “I know.” Then  when they are left to complete the task or project, they have no clue because they really weren’t paying attention and didn’t listen. Sometimes “I know” is a useless phrase. People use it so often have you ever wondered why? I think its because their minds drift off and they aren’t really interested in either you or the topic you are discussing. How about when a spouse or parent asks how a job hunt is going and the reply is “I know what I’m doing. I’ll find a position soon” when in reality they haven’t even looked for a suitable opening. Even in the Good Gus Series, children respond with “I know” when they really don’t or can’t be bothered.  As the cold nights and occasion loss of electricity make the winter seem dreary, light the candles and give a Good Gus Series book to the child or children in your life.  It will make the winter less dismal.

kids-playingI just saw a commercial that recommended that parents should make sure their child or children play outside for at least one hour a day. Who ever thought that playing outside needed to be suggested or recommended? When I was young all we did was stay outside playing. We rode our bicycles, sometimes many miles each day. Occasionally, we would go out of our neighborhood exploring other areas. Back then, suburbia was spread out and there were several farms near by. We didn’t get into trouble, but we had freedom that the children of today don’t have. There weren’t as many child predators, pedophiles, kidnappers, rapists, etc. When parents suggest playing out of doors today, most children object. They are accustomed to playing video games and not doing any actual physical exercise except in school. Its too bad as playing outdoors helps the children develop good coordination, strengthen their lungs and cut down on exposure to the germs festering indoors. It seems lately, my family included, that everyone has a form of sickness. The worst part is that when people work outside the home such as in public service, retail or the restaurant business, they are exposed to about two hundred percent more germs and are more likely to become ill. In the good Gus Series the children are always playing outside unless they are doing chores.  Its an excellent example of positive reading for the child or children in your life.  Happy birthday to Miss Patty today!

3-coach2-300x2401-150x150How many times in your life have your heard the words, “finish it?” From the time we were little and on into adulthood, we have heard people say just finish it. Many times we can’t finish something and we have to just walk away or let it go. When I was young I was forced to eat left overs that were reheated four to five times. I literally sat at the table and was told to “finish it” or else. Mostly the or else was punishment such as no playing with my friends, missing a special television show, or grounding for unbelievably long times such as weeks. As a result, today I dislike leftovers. Although if I have some, I will re-purpose them to make them taste better than they did the first time. Many times at work people are told to just finish a project even though its too large for one person, too complicated and they need help, or the great week-end they planned went out the window as the superior or boss didn’t want to do the work. When we teach our children lessons, we try to make them finish whatever they have started. Its not always easy. Early on, however, as parents or guardians, we learned that there were some things they needed our help with as they didn’t have the skills, didn’t understand it or just plain hated it. Its important that all children learn to follow through and that if they cannot complete a task, that they admit it and learn from it. In the Good Gus Series, the children are taught to finish their chores before they can go out and play. Its stressed in many of the stories. Now that November is almost over, please take a look at the Good Gus website and hopefully a book or two will help you finish your gift list.

elephant-93103_640Exercise is a love hate relationship with most people. Some folks exercise to stay alive because their doctor told them that if they didn’t they would die. Then there are the body builders who do it to look good. I do it because it makes me feel better. I like exercise although sometimes its boring. Sometimes while at the gym, during the sets on the machines, I play word games with my daughter. Its really an online scrabble game. I enjoy it and it passes the time while I am waiting to do a set. When I was young exercise was unheard of except for Jack La Lane. He was the first real fitness trainer I think in the world that people could view every day in their homes. Playing was great then because you ran, rode your bike, walked to the store and generally remained physically fit. Today we are too afraid to let our children go out and play unless its at someone’s home or in a fenced area. Its sad that crime has caused parents so much fear that their children don’t have the opportunity to just have fun playing tag, hide and seek, or ball sports that are unorganized except by the children. In the old west the children did all those things and more. Many times they were responsible for feeding the livestock, gardening, walking to the store, lifting and carrying items and general help around the farm or ranch. Children who live on ranches now still do some of that work. Going to a gym is unheard of  for them. They are physically fit and get plenty of exercise every day helping their families and doing chores. In book twenty-seven, “Toby Saves the Day” the children are playing dodge ball on Main Street in front of Mary’s Cafe’ having a wonderful time when a mangy coyote approaches the group. Toby does save the day but it also shows that there were situations in the old west that required adult help and protection. When you are exercising or thinking about physical activities for your children, check out the Good Gus Series. I think you will like the positives in the books.

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