Yentas Walking

My friends and I love hiking for the exercise and the chance to enjoy nature but above all for the freedom it gives us to vent. When one of us calls and says, “I need to hike,” it’s like an emotional SOS. Thanks to our unwritten rule that what we say on the trail stays on the trail, we know it’s safe.

It’s a great workout too. We get so engrossed in our conversations that we make it up some really steep hills. All the talking keeps us going because we can’t just stop in the middle of a major conversation. It would be like calling off a summit conference right before resolving the arms crisis. My husband is amazed that we can talk for three hours straight. Apparently a lot of men can hike without speaking.

Believe me, there is nothing off limits and no issue we can’t resolve. We’re psychologists, political pundits and fabulous mothers. We’re yentas.

We have discussed everything  from life and death to hot flashes to  Dancing with the Stars. We have solved global warming, analyzed Donald Trump’s hair and talked about raising our children to be independent and then commiserated when they didn’t call us every day. Our conversations are uncensored and politically incorrect. We have opinions on everything but never judge each other.

get-attachment.aspxCHARLEY I’m sorry to say this but maybe they should judge or use a little judgement. I’ve heard things that no dog should be subjected to. I’m just saying, we know where the bodies are buried but we’re not digging them up.


Again With the Flowers
Again With the Flowers

ELBEE Speaking of bodies, PL’s friend Mary said she was surprised that in all their years of hiking they’d never found a body. What really got me is that she sounded disappointed. Oy vey (I picked up that expression when I was eavesdropping) they need to get lives and I need to get better on social media so  I can share some of this.

20150408_105611-1_resized_1Gus First I find out there are snakes in the mountains and now it’s bodies. If this keeps up, I’m going to need therapy before I’m three.


Take a Hike

In high school I was voted least likely to ever go hiking. At first I was a little offended because I thought it might have to do with my glasses, braces and orthopedic shoes, but as I gave it some thought I was really quite flattered. Although I’d never met a female hiker (I don’t think we had any in Syracuse) I had a vision in mind. They were overgrown Girl Scouts who wore ugly shoes, uglier shorts, carried backpacks and had some sort of Swiss army knives hanging from their belts.

Several years later, with this picture in mind, when a couple of acquaintances at the gym asked me if I’d like to go hiking, I blurted out, “you must be joking!” Then I realized they were both wearing make up and cute outfits and shaved their legs, so I thought why not?

To make a long story short, after one hike, I was hooked. I was a born again nature lover. To this day, there is nothing that has helped me more physically, mentally or spiritually than going into the mountains. It’s like church or temple without the guilt and sermons. Plus you build up your legs and your stamina and can bring your dogs.

When I first started hiking, I  went with friends but as the years went by I  wanted to take off without waiting for someone else. That’s when I got the brilliant idea to take the dogs. They followed me around like stalkers so why not put the attachment to good use. I didn’t know how much help they’d be in an emergency or if they’d even recognize an emergency, but they gave me a sense of security.

 CHARLEY I’m a little offended. Of course I’d recognize an emergency. What Pack Leader neglected to share is that the first time she saw a snake she ran screaming down the trail, and you know she’s not a runner.


GUS There are snakes in the mountains? I’m terrified of snakes. No one ever tells me anything.

You may be shocked to hear that my daughters, remember them, the ones who are suing me and who, somewhere along the line, had become my mothers, were not thrilled with this arrangement. The way they put it was, “You’re that crazy person wandering around the mountains with her dogs.” And I thought I was a cute Grizzly Adams.

ELBEE I have one thing to say. If PL takes one more picture of me with flowers in my hair, I will refuse to ever go hiking again. She’s ruining my street cred.




Running With Your Dogs Is Still Running

I’m not going to write about my daughters today. No point in giving them more ammunition while they’re deciding whether or not to sue me. It kills me because they’re such great material. My husband thinks it’s wonderful how they’re bonding over this. Really?

Recently I was watching the dogs running in the park and thought,  “wouldn’t it be fun to run with them.” I could bond with the Doods, get some exercise.

The Doods and buddy Rango having fun
The Doods and buddy Rango

I was so excited that I bought the shoes and a cute running outfit that wouldn’t show my butt bouncing up and down. I put the Doods on leashes and took off. After about a hundred yards of misery, I realized I’d forgotten one important thing. I hate running.

One other time,  when my daughters were young, I’d been inspired to run. That turned out to be a total fiasco. Notice I’m not giving details. All I’m saying is that I got bailed out by the rainy season.

I had a sneaking suspicion that the Doods hated it too. Well to be honest, running with me seemed to be the problem. On their own they loved it.

CHARLEY This is the voice of reason speaking. I hate to say it but she also forgot that she’s no spring chicken and neither am I. Not to brag, but in my younger days I was quite the runner. A woman, who was obviously jealous that I was faster than her Border Collie, referred to me as a “flying carpet.” I let her sarcasm fall right off of my fabulous coat.

Aside from the pain, there are a few other reasons I have now officially sworn off running. First, I think it causes wrinkles. I can get enough of those walking and aging. My theory is that as you get older, your skin gets tired and has all it can do just to hold you together.

I also have a theory that jogging will cause your uterus to fall out. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if it’s time for it to go. But can you imagine having to pick up dog poop and your uterus.


ANONYMOUS This is anonymous again. That is way too much information. I hope that none of my friends recognize me when I’m out with her.

The Doods Weigh in on the Daughters


I look more serious in my glasses

CHARLEY I just had to vent. Some of you know that I do yoga and meditate, but the daughters are ruining my zen outlook. I was eavesdropping again when I heard that Nicole and Danielle wanted to sue Pack Leader for libel or slander but weren’t even sure which one. That gave me a chuckle.

According to what they shared on Facebook, they don’t like being used as “fodder for her blog.” Personally, I love when she writes about me. I’m sorry but I still think it’s a jealousy issue with her kids.

And guess who they wanted to retain as legal counsel…their sister Jennifer the lawyer!  She hates FB and doesn’t even read the posts but said she felt “emotionally distressed,” and told them to start documenting their symptoms. OMG!


ANONYMOUS Charley is wearing his glasses to look smart. I’m wearing sunglasses to remain anonymous. I don’t want those daughters trying to sue me. I can’t afford legal counsel.

Guess who jumped on the bandwagon next…Nicole’s fiancé Christian. He posted this checklist. Instead of getting upset, P.L. thought it was awesome that she had her own category. Nicole was ready to throw in the towel.


GUS I was adopted into this family. I’m still confused. What’s Facebook? get-attachment.aspxWhat’s a blog? What’s wrong with these people?



The Daughters and the Doods

I wasn’t going to write about my daughters today. Oh who am I kidding. Of course I was. Some things are just too easy. When I told them that “meandthedoodsandthedaughters” had a nice ring to it, they said that so did a want ad for a new mother. Totally not fair since she wouldn’t have to deal with diapers, teenage rebellion or the cost of college. Plus she would get grandchildren as a bonus. Grandchildren who, by the way, love the dogs.

My daughters have also accused me of replacing each one of them with a dog. Although that was never my intention, it has worked out exceptionally well. It certainly made the whole empty nest syndrome a lot easier than I expected. This  from a woman who cried like a baby when I dropped them off at nursery school.

One morning Nicole was over and suddenly asked, “if one of the dogs was drowning and I was drowning, who would you save?” My first response was, “Can I have a few minutes to think about it?” When that didn’t cut it, I asked if I could save them both. Not surprisingly that didn’t go over very well either. Then I said, “Of course I would save you.”


CHARLEY I happened to be eavesdropping when that whole conversation was taking place. Yes, dogs do eavesdrop. I admit that I was quite upset when I heard that answer from Pack Leader, but then she turned to me and winked.