Q: “Dear Maggie: I’m having the hardest time potty training my boy. I’ve tried the Cheerios…I’ve tried everything! Please help!”
A: “I have three thoughts right off the bat. First, I’m thinking maybe you should give him doggie treats after he goes. That’s worked really well for me. Next, you might consider leaving him at home…by himself…with a bowl of water…all day. When you get home, he will need to go.
“And lastly, maybe take him on a walk around the neighborhood. There a plenty of trees, and a couple of street corners that are clearly favorite spots for the locals.
“Wait. When you say your “boy,” are you talking about your child, or your dog? My bad.”
There’s so much prep that goes into getting out of town for a few days. Especially when you won’t have reception while you’re there and you’ll have to do a little device detox.
It was hard enough informing all the people I work with who to contact in case of this or that; and that I would be checking out El Capitan or roasting marshmallows while an escrow was nearly falling apart. But I work with great people, and everything went fine. (Mostly.)
But getting back to the grind on Monday? Brutal.
Balancing real estate, church stuff & personal tasks can be so overwhelming, it’s all I can do to write this post. “Get more people to sign up for the community blood drive!” “Those clients want you to call them back right away!” “You need to mow the lawn!” “You are behind in your sermon prep!” “You need to drive out to your listing in Citrus Heights and pick up those fliers!” “That contractor is a week late. You need to get someone else out there for those repairs!”
Part of me is looking for the comfort of an evening campfire; another part knows everything will be back to normal after a few days’ hard work.
One summer when I was a kid, our family jumped into the car and headed for Central City, Nebraska. We were going to be with my dad’s side of the family for the 4th of July, and I was excited to discover first-hand what a pop bottle rocket was.
At least at the time, the small firework was illegal in all states but Wyoming. Fortunately for me, wide-eyed little boys from California could buy said fireworks without too much trouble since Wyoming is on the way.
For one incredible afternoon on grandma’s huge front lawn, my cousin Michael and I had a blast! (Oh, that was horrible!) Watching the bottle rockets zip from the ground at our feet until they were high in the air……pow!!! It absolutely drew out my inner pyromaniac. I love this country.
“Dear Maggie: We’re moving to Sacramento and my mother-in-law is pressuring my husband and I into buying a house big enough for her to move in with us. I need to come up with a way to say, ‘There’s no way in hell that’s happening’ without offending her. What do I say?”
Maggie: “That is a tough one. The first thing that comes to mind is, ‘Oh, mom, the EPA has banned mother-in-law units!’ But she might Google it and find out that’s a lie.
“Or maybe try this: ‘I don’t know if you could handle it with your asthma and all; we all just started smoking…yep. Even the baby…all of us.’
“Maybe your best bet is letting her know your heart is set on Land Park, and at that price point, you’ll have to get something too small for all of you to live in. Call Greg. He knows a few great homes over there we sniffed out recently. Maybe he could send your mother-in-law the wrong address of your new home by accident. You know….’accident?’ “
My wife had never seen The Princess Bride in it’s entirety; until last night.
I wasn’t surprised when she said, “Let’s watch a movie.” But I was shocked/elated when she said, “Can we go get The Princess Bride on Redbox?”
I laughed and let her know that we already own it. I popped into our XBOX and a few minutes later we had launched into an evening of, “Oh, I’ve heard people quote that before!”
“Stop that! I mean it!” “Anybody want a peanut?”
“You seem like a nice fellow. I hate to die.”
“The chocolate coating makes it go down easier.”
“Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word…I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togeva.. today.”
“If he’s ALL dead, there’s only one thing you can do.” “What’s that?” “Search his pockets for loose change.”
Last week, I started a new charity.
It’s a special charity in which one lucky (and likely grateful) individual receives a sound system for a car, an iPhone charger, and a sense of accomplishment.
The only requirement is that the recipient must disable my alarm system and take aforementioned items without my knowledge. Good times.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
It was so nice when I was eight years old to have a set, clear answer to that question: “I want to be an astronaut.”
But we all know that it gets more complicated as life moves on. Different desires and dreams are birthed in our hearts as we are exposed to new ideas and experiences.
Time management experts like Brian Tracy drive me crazy at times when they remind us that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. I always feel like with 2 or 3 more hours, the day would have been filled with answers to my identity questions.
With a little more time in the day, I would have been able to say to myself, “Greg,
you are a success.” or, “You are an excellent student.” or “You are the best husband ever.”
When I grow up, I want to be a board game developer, a strong leader, a high school history teacher, a successful real estate agent, a provider, a good husband, a business owner, a college graduate, a pastor, an investor, an economist, and a dad. When I grow up.
I find myself theorizing at times about having more than one life to live; but to what end? Apparently, I must prioritize my list of dreams…
Q: “Dear Maggie, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and it always makes me depressed, because I thought I would have met someone by now, but I haven’t. Do you have any advice?”
A: “Of course! The truth is, Singles Awareness Day (or SAD, for short) has been tough on all of us at one point or another. Every February, our mothers call us. They make small talk for awhile, tell us about the latest gossip of people we don’t care about and haven’t seen in years, and then comes that moment… A little pause…and then the question. “So, are you seeing anyone?”
Like being single is a freaking cancer. Uggh!!
Last year, I was dating this Cocker Spaniel who lives over on Alcott. Boy, was he nice to look at. But he was five, and I’m only turning two this Spring, so the age thing was a little awkward for my parents.
What can I say? Love hurts.
2. Earl Warren Elementary (and Joseph Bonnheim Elementary across the street) give the neighborhood a very family-oriented feel. When you start to get old like me (I just turned 30) it’s nice to hear the sound of children playing at recess.
1. I Work There! I stay on top of all the housing inventory nearby, and it can pay huge dividends to work with a real estate agent who knows and loves his or her community.
Call me today!
4. A Low Traffic Street Layout. Many streets in Colonial Village were designed to end at 25th Ave or Vandenberg so that they don’t have through traffic. This makes the area much safer for children on bikes and people walking their dogs.
3. A Working-Class Feel. Every morning, people get up and leave the house for work. Around 5 or 6, they come home tired, and retire to the well-deserved creature comforts of home. These are my kind of people!
Coming Soon: Reasons 2 & 1 to consider buying a home in Colonial Village!
6. Access to Freeways and Sac State. Colonial Village is just a short jaunt to Highway 50 and less than 10 minutes from 99. Sacramento State University is just up 65th Expressway, making Colonial Village a great spot for students or families with students.
5. Mature Trees. Trees are not only beautiful and good for air quality, their size lets you know whether or not a neighborhood’s identity has been firmly established. We have some nice tall ones here in Colonial Village! Click here for more information on our great neighborhood!
Coming Soon: Reasons 4 & 3!
Q: “Dear Maggie, I’m thinking about buying a new car, but I don’t know if I can afford it right now. What should I do?”
A: “Well, I have a few thoughts.
It mostly depends on your dog. Does he or she have enough space to run around in the back seat, leaving hair everywhere? If so, why make a change now?
I’m also interested in the KPH of your current vehicle. How many Kibbles Per Hour can your dog eat in your current set of wheels? If that number is anything less than 80-100, you might want to consider an upgrade. Maybe a Range Rover. Get it!?! Range Rover?!?!? Oh. I kill myself!! I’ll be here all week, folks!
8. Beautiful Earl Warren Park. I love it when a park isn’t on a main thoroughfare; it keeps awareness of the park’s existence hyper-local. This park also has a great playground for the kids!
7. Price Point. Most homes in Colonial Village are selling right now between $150,000 and $200,000. This allows many working-class families the opportunity to have their part in the American Dream.
Coming Soon: Reasons 6 and 5…
I was graciously given a couple of Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes for my 30th birthday party a few weeks ago. They were amazing. (One classic and one Oreo, if you must know.) A couple of my friends uttered the horrifying words, “I don’t care for cheesecake” in my presence. Wow. Why don’t you just burn the American flag and kick puppies while you’re at it, you communist?
But I digress. I have tremendous empathy for someone who has spent years avoiding cheesecake on account of its name.
Is it like cheese? No.
It like cake? Not really.
Really, its name is a marketing debacle; one that it has no doubt been facing since it was invented. But I’m OK with some people having apprehension, I suppose. It means there will be more for me.