My Dad: Wildlife Whisperer

P1030366Bighorn Sheep

     If you missed the first vacation installment, this adventure took my parents and me into Montana and Canada—Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, Kootenay National Park and Glacier National Park. The majority of the time there was no Wi-Fi or cell phone coverage. So, we were on our own.
     My dad has taken gorgeous pictures over the years. He won several contests for his work, deservedly so. This requires going the extra mile to get the perfect shot.
     He will blaze his own trail when the official one does not give the best view of whatever he is attempting to capture.
     He will stand on the edge of a precipitous cliff with stones giving way. He will venture through brush without batting an eye. Rocky mountainsides pose little challenge. Continue reading

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Mission: Impossible – a.k.a. Vacationing With Mom and Dad

P1020956 Lake Louise

     “Your mission, Suzanne, should you choose to accept it, is to accompany your parents on a vacation into the wilderness. You will be responsible for their well-being and returning them home safely. At times, they will ignore you and will perform acts to thwart your efforts. However, you must persevere. There will be no Wi-Fi or cell phone coverage. So, you are on your own. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Suzanne.”

P1020968 Lake Louise

     I hear you saying, “Come on, Suzanne. How bad could it be? It’s a vacation!”
     Clearly, you have no prior knowledge of our family vacations. Unless we were in peril and almost died at least once, it was not a good vacation.
     Seriously. Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day!

     What can I say about my dad? He is the most hardworking, loving and intelligent man I know. He would do anything in the world for me, my brother and my mom. He is a good man. Plain and simple. Of course, there are times when he drives us all nuts, but that’s part of his quintessential charm.
     Dad is the life of every party. When his blue eyes twinkle, God only knows what he’s thinking or what’s coming next. He is definitely not the most politically correct person you will ever meet, but he is one of the most entertaining. The songs he wrote for his coworkers’ retirement parties were legendary. He even had backup singers. And those backup singers accompanied me during the retirement song I wrote and performed for him.
     People who meet my mother for the first time usually start the conversation with, “We always wondered who could put up with him. Is he like that all the time?”
     She answers, “Yes, he is. We’ve been together for over fifty years. And I haven’t killed him yet.”
     However, there were times when we wondered if he was trying to kill us. His vacations were death-defying adventures. Seriously. If we didn’t come close to getting maimed or killed, it wasn’t a good vacation. He got several ideas from those nice people in National Geographic. That should paint you a better picture right there.
     Imagine if you will a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old and their parents, wearing regular sneakers, carrying no food or water, clinging to chains driven into the side of a cliff with railroad spikes, navigating narrow ledges to reach Havasu Falls at the bottom of The Grand Canyon. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also had heavy camera equipment around our necks. That crazy family was us. We have the pictures and video to prove it.
     Growing up, Dad was the cool dad. He rigged up a car stereo and 6×9 speakers in the garage, so we could listen to music outside. He would play oldies or rock, sometimes country. This was while the neighbor across the street was broadcasting Willie Nelson, or the soundtrack from Evita or the soundtrack from Les Mis.
     Don’t get me wrong, I love Evita and Les Mis now, but listening to those soundtracks as a child was depressing. So, thank God, Dad’s system was louder. To this day, he still cranks it up loud. Of course now that might be because his hearing isn’t what it used to be.
     When he would bring home a new car, the neighborhood boys would come over to “oooh” and “aaah” over it. They’d ask tons of questions that he was more than happy to answer. Then he’d spend the next two hours washing it.
     I think I volunteered him to be the DJ for my 8th grade ’50s/’60s sock hop. He lugged his record player, a slew of records, stereo system and speakers to the school. Everybody, including the teachers, had a blast. He even came up with a trivia game and handed out prizes.
     In high school, he took me to all of the Father/Daughter Dinner Dances. We danced energetically to the fast songs. And we serenaded each other as we danced to the slow songs. We were quite the pair!
     He was proud when I followed in his footsteps and went to GMI Engineering & Management Institute. (It was General Motors Institute when he went there.) I was mortified when I had to explain my Dad’s nickname for me to my college roommate. She answered the phone, and he thought it was me and greeted her, “Hi, Poozlet!”
     Yeah, don’t ask.
     On my wedding day, we were alone in the bride’s room waiting to walk down the aisle. I was nervous, and he was making jokes trying to calm my nerves. But then he got serious for a moment. He said, “I’m assuming your mother had the talk with you.”
     Oh dear God. Did he really just say that? I’m going to die now. Of embarrassment or something. I laughed. Mom and I had the talk when I was ten years old.
      “Yeah, Dad. We had the talk.”
      “Okay. Good.”
     I wonder what he would have done if I had said, “No.” I can only imagine!
     Mom and Dad came to stay with me when I had cancer. I remember waking up from surgery. Mom wore her usual cheerful caregiver smile. But Dad had what we now jokingly refer to as “Dad Face.”
     “Dad Face” is the look he gets when he wants to fix whatever is wrong, but is helpless to do so. Because ultimately, it is out of his control. It’s a very concerned, worried, loving look.
     Mom and I learned quickly that we had to assign him some tasks. That way he felt useful and accomplished something.
     When I was going through my divorce, “Dad Face” returned. Heck, for a while, Mom even had “Dad Face.” Actually, almost everyone I knew had “Dad Face.” Hard not to since I was sobbing at the drop of a hat.
     Anyway, now that Dad’s retired, he’s busier than ever. When he’s not out washing his cars or doing yardwork, he’s fishing. He frequently says, “A bad day of fishing is still better than the best day at work.”
     Mr. Catch and Release has said it enough times, we believe him. Plus, he does come back with some really interesting fish stories. However, it still boggles the mind. This is a man who is always in a rush and hates waiting in lines. Yet, he will spend hours, days and sometimes weeks fishing. Sometimes on the shore or in a boat. Most of the time in waders standing chest deep in a stream.
     Fly fishing is his favorite type of fishing. Although he sometimes uses corn. Niblets to be precise. From a can. Apparently, it works. He’s catching a lot of fish with niblets. Who knew? Niblets!
     And when he’s not fishing, he’s planning meals. Breakfast with his brothers, Old Farts luncheons (his words, not mine), and dinners with everyone else my parents know. Their social calendar is booked out for weeks. They are popular people. Well, I guess with him you do get a meal and a comedy act.
     Most of all, my Dad wants me to be happy and feel loved. I consider myself very lucky, blessed, happy and loved because I have him for a Dad. And no matter how old I get, I will always be his little girl.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Rock The Cradle

Rock the CradleRock The Cradle is the latest event created by serial entrepreneur, Jenn Kampmeier. It is a celebration event for expecting and new parents. Parents-to-be and new parents can learn about fitness, nutrition & wellness while shopping and celebrating in a whimsical atmosphere. Friends and family can also be part of the celebration with tons of fun attractions and activities for the entire family.

The not-for-profit partner for this event is Central Indiana Mothers Inc. This organization provides mothers of Central Indiana with valuable and resourceful information about community programs and available state and federal assistance.

Swaddle Swag Bags for the first 50 expecting moms. Sponsored by Marta Guinn of Thirty-One

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Ritz Charles, Carmel IN
6:30pm to 9:00pm

For more information about the event, click here: http://indyfamilyfest.com/rockthecradle/

Click here to register for this complimentary event: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rock-the-cradle-tickets-10008314137

Activities:
Daddyathon
Pampering and Relaxation Area
Sample amazing food
Car Safety Seat Checks

Schedule of Events:

6:30pm: Baby Gear 101: Highlights of all hottest and best baby gear
Sponsored by: Babies R Us

7:00pm: Infant and Child CPR Demonstration
Sponsored by: On-Site Training & Service, Inc.
Instructor: Matt Bussard

7:30pm: Grandparents 101 Session

8:00pm: Fitness and Wellness during Pregnancy and Beyond Panel
Moderator: ‘Mommy Magic‘: Mary Susan Buhner
Panel Members:
Dr. Pamela Reilly, ND, CNHP, CNC, CPH
Julie Eaton: Fitcee Fitness
Tammy Bothwell: Certified Yoga Instructor

8:30pm: Breastfeeding, Nutrition, Sleep and More Panel
Moderator: ‘Mommy Magic‘: Mary Susan Buhner
Panel Members:
Julie Spangler, RN: Breastfeeding Coalition of Hamilton County
Cortney Gibson, Owner of Gibson Newborn Services

Vendors and Sponsors:
14 Districts
Allstate Insurance: Ranj Puthran
Ashley Lindsey Designs
Babies R Us
Balanced Bodywork and Wellness Center
Barbeaux formulaire
Carmel Midwifery and Women’s Health
Central Indiana Mothers
Chiro 1st Physical Medicine
Costco Wholesale #347
DaddyScrubs
DirectBuy of Indianapolis
Earth Fare
Elegant Journey Hypnobabies Birth Services, LLC
Enfamil
Fitcee Fitness
Gibson Newborn Services
Good Works Wellness
Green BEAN Delivery
Gymboree Play & Music
Happy Family
Hare Chevrolet
Health Source of Carmel
Indiana Mothers Milk Bank
Indy With Kids
Indy’s Child Magazine
It Works Global/ Wrap With Nikki
Jamberry Nail Wraps
Just Me Music
Keller Williams Realty Consultants
Ladies Evening Out
Mandy Leonards Photography
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Mommy Magic
Music Together
Musical Beginnings presents Kindermusik
National Youth Advocate Program
Northpoint Pediatrics
Oh My! Tutus & Hairbows
On-Site Training & Service
OrganizeWithBecky.com
Origami Owl
Pacers Van
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana/Pinwheel Promises of Hamilton County
Priority 1 Medical
Rangeline Chiropractic
Ready the Nest
Shelter Insurance®: Tom Pea
SmarTravel
The Beauty Lounge
The Music Playhouse
The Next Steps Maternity Boutique
The Silver Centre Event Hall
The Silver Dragonfly, LLC
The Urban Chalkboard
Thirty One by Marta Guinn
Toasty Baby
Usborne Books & More
Wellness Lifestyles Group
Whale of a Sale