Reasons for Curfew Laws

Many teens and younger children can be seen late at night on the streets and hanging out in parking lots. They are out on weekday nights so its assumed that they are going to school in the morning. I used to see students sleeping in the classrooms and now deal with teens who are up all night. They rarely are ready to face the day before noon; so whats going on? Where are the parents and who is watching them?

Its looks like they are on their own for all intents and purposes.   The curfews laws are on the books but children are out past the local ordinances. Each town,village,and city makes up the curfew time for minors and parents may face hefty fines and jail time in some instances.

School districts are seeing rampant truancy with no parental over site. Parent involvement has declined over the last 3 decades, despite the new phenomenon of "hover parents." When I was a classroom teacher, I rarely met some student's parents at all! Have they just given up, or are parents today feeling too overwhelmed?

There are many questions and few viable solutions. Calling Child protective Services (CPS) is a  temporary solution and many times will make  a situation worse. With a record number of children in foster care, social workers are more apt to work with a  family to keep them intact.

That brings us back to the curfew laws. There are some good reasons some teens are out late; an after-school job, sports practices and games, studying at the library are the most popular reasons.
If parents realized how many teens and children were potential
victims of abuse, kidnapping, and drug use, maybe things would change.

Many girls and boys are abused by someone who has befriended them due to an absent parent. Other kids are kidnapped and sold into the human-trafficking world. They are nothing more than money-makers for their pimps that are holding them against their will.

There is also an epidemic of drug use in every corner of the country, whether it is urban or rural. Police departments are overwhelmed with illegal adult drug use as well as minors. In rural locals, the Meth and pill use is preferred due to the low cost and availability of ingredients. In suburban and urban localities, heroin is making its return.

I remember getting a lot of angry comments from teens when I posted my article on hubpages about curfews. I wish they would keep in mind, that adults are not here to punish them and keep them from having fun. There are good reasons for these curfews.

Cooking Outdoors

Portable Cooking Equipment

Cooking on a grill

Outdoor barbecues are a wonderful alternative way to cook that provides more flavor and adventure.
Grilling is one of the most primal forms of cooking and most men will jump at the chance to try his culinary skills with the open flame.
I know men that use their grills outside in the winter snowstorm. They just brush off the snow and light it up.
The added bonus of smoking the meat with a flavored wood is enhanced with the smoking attachment.
My 5 picks for outdoor cooking for under $200 are described below. Some are more versatile, more portable and have different functions than others. It may come as a surprise for traditional grillers to see a wok or electric grill in my review.

Char-griller Outlaw Demo

The Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw 1038 Square Inch Charcoal Grill / Smoker is made of heavy duty steel with a double bottom for longer use. The "barrel-shaped" grill may put off some grill masters who are used to the upright open square grill, but this is a serious piece of equipment. And it has a temperature gauge and top vent.
The surface cooking space of 725" main grill and 340" warming rack and cast iron grates keeps the surface hot to insure great flavor throughout.
The optional side firebox turns this into a smoker and those ribs will cook in a few hours.
The Weber 22.5-Inch One-Touch Gold Kettle Grill is an updated version of a classic simple grill that has been in use for 50 years. My neighbors had one and used it often when I was growing up. It reminds me of the classic Volkswagen; durable,simple and popular.
The enameled dome lid prevents rusting and the nickel-plated grill grates are easy to clean.
Also the tripod wheelbase helps to prevent tipping over and wheels make moving it a breeze.The warranty lasts a full 10 years.
O-Grill 3000 Portable Gas Barbecue Grills is one of the most unique shaped and portable on the market. It looks like a clam shell when closed and measures 23.2"x 10.8" x 25.5". and weighs a mere 24 pounds. The cast iron cooking grid has a surface of 225 square inches, which uses a portable propane tank.
Retractable legs and easy carry handle lets you take it anywhere. There are options such as a a rolling cart and dock table to raise the height, and the carrying bag. This comes in 6 fun colors, such as orange, green,gray, blue, red and black.


The Brinkmann 810-5000-0 All-In-One Outdoor Cooker is a versatile gas grill, fryer, smoker or charcoal grill and smoker. The many uses of this make it a favorite among outdoor chefs. The maker states that it can be used as a LP gas grill, an LP gas water smoker, a charcoal grill and charcoal water smoker, and a gas cooker/fryer as well. Measures 17" x 17" x17" and weighs 42 pounds.
It's sturdy, welded construction with dome shaped lid, temperature indicator, and chrome-plated steel grills can hold up to 50 pounds of food. It comes with a porcelain enamel water pan, drip pan, ash guard, lava rocks, a gas hose and regulator.

Eastman Outdoors Model 37212 22-Inch Carbon-Steel Wok is not the traditional grill one would expect to hear about, but this had many satisfied customers, so I added it to the list. It measures 24"x 24" x 36" and weighs in at 25 pounds, with it's own cradle stand.. With more people wanting to cook more health-conscious meal, the modern Wok provided the best way to provide that. The Big Kahuna steel burner heats up evenly and fast, and the kit comes with propane burner, spoon, spatula, CD cookbook and thermometer.
Try cooking your meals a little differently and you may like this new meal preparer. No, it won't cook your ribs, but you may lose some weight.


So there are my top picks for outdoor cooking. Depending on what you are looking for,such as versatility, portability or speed; there's one that is perfect for your needs.
I chose cookers that could be used away from the home; that used propane gas and charcoal, rather than electricity, since most people want the convenience. The Brinkmann All-in-One Outdoor Cooker is the most versatile one but not all portable as the O-Grill 3000.
You'll probably want to use the Char-Griller Outlaw for your racks of ribs and the Weber for smaller family meals such as hamburgers. And yes, real men do use woks!

Artists can Escape to the Great Outdoors

Artists Escape to the Great Outdoors with  Portable Field Easels


Escape the studio

If you are an artist and love to paint, you probably don’t want to wait until you get home to paint whenever the mood hits you. I use a travel easel whenever I leave the house. I like to have the ability to stop by a beautiful natural scene and start painting. It is a suitcase type that can hold my supplies such as tubes of paint brushes and paper.

The thought of boxing up the paint tubes, paint brushes, palette, easel and stand into the trunk may not appeal to you. But, if you had a way to put all your supplies and easel into a small space and could carry them with you where ever you went just might.

The travel easel for painters is great idea or those you love to paint away from home. It also will enable you to paint more and sell more.

Just imagine being able to carry a travel easel with all your supplies over your shoulder and paint a meadow, a water fall or an old barn.
Today's easels come in different sizes, materials, and made for all budgets.

French Easels Review Video

Most portable travel easels are made from wood that fold up into a suitcase are the perfect solution for painters who are so inspired when away from home. I have a French style sketch box travel easel that folds completely up into a suitcase and it holds all my supplies when I’m away.
The easel stand adjusts up and down to accommodate sizes to 34’. See the photos in this hub to how it looks open and closed.
the travel suitcase easel unfolded
There are other types of course, and vary in prices from $49.00 to $199.00.You could pay more depending on wood and construction.
The lightweight folding aluminum easels are another lightweight and budget friendly alternative. They can run between $15.00 to $49.00.
If you are a nature lover and want to paint more outside this is a great way to accomplish this. You might get more fresh air and exercise and possible meet other nature artists!
To use it, I simply open the box, turn each of the three legs outward and extend manually. Then I tighten the wing nuts to insure support. The storage draw pulls out to hold supplies and mine stands approximately 60” high.
So if you like the ability to paint away from home,then the travel easel is for you!You can use the travel easel for fun and profit!

                                    Children Painting

green children activities


Children's easels

I have been reviewing children's easels lately and realized that young artists are just as interested in these as an adult artist.

The children's easels are a little more sturdy and they may be a bit heavier than the travel easel, but an adult can take these along with them when they paint outside. Some of them are too heavy for a small child to carry so be sure to take the child with you to pick out the easel. Let them try to lift them and carry them in the store. If they struggle, then that easel is too heavy to handle.

If children are to start painting on their own stands, then their equipment shouldn't be a problem.
I hope you find the easel you like and take your children outside to paint. Children who like to paint alongside their parents can learn patience and relieve stress.

Watch the video of the little girl using an easel. She's a natural!

Summary of Traveling Artist Easels

Becoming mobile and getting out of the studio can be a wonderful way to gain new natural subjects to an artists portfolio. Seeing nature in the raw and being able to paint on the sight adds new dimension to any work of art. An artist needs an easel that's easy to use and travel with.

Artist easels come in different sizes, materials and functions. The suitcase easel is made to travel and is handy to store all your supplies.They are been around for centuries but now are made better for portability.

Children also like to paint and I find it relaxes them. Start painting with your kids and you'll see a difference in their attitude.

Do Children Kill Female Friendships

 story time


Things change with children

Having a long friendship is very challenging in modern times, and becoming a parent is life-changing.
Your bff (best friend forever) will change when children arrive. Surviving the ups and downs surrounding parenthood can make or break any relationship. I can certainly sympathize with you on this subject. When I was younger I eventually lost friends due to their changing situation such as marriage and becoming parents.They started to spend less time with me and more time with other parents.
I was not a mother and eventually discovered that I would never become a parent. Of course my friends and I tried to spend time together, but people often befriend others like themselves. Birds of a feather flock together, as the saying goes.
People often change and go through transitions so you may be left out in the cold. Becoming a parent means having "play dates", going to teacher conferences and getting involved with the PTA. There's not much in common for childless friends. After all "birds of a feather flock together" as we've all heard; it's so true.


There are spouse or committed couples who are jealous of that special bond you may have with a long time friend.They can sabotage a friendship and try to come between you two, with all sorts of ridiculous reasons. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for a jealous, insecure spouse to give an ultimatum.
I had this happen and it is hurtful and frustrating to have a jealous spouse. Yeah, I know, some men are good with the friendships. For the most part, men don't seem to let children or spouses get in the way of their friendships, but we women do.

Making Time for Friends

When a friend becomes a parent, the dynamics of the friendship certainly do change. If they are a single parent, then it may be a little easier to remain close. Often times a spouse will not get along with a friend and vice-verse.
I have found that the spouse may either become a help or hindrance. Some husbands may use the children to "guilt" the wife into staying home and not pursuing their friendship with you. Of course, many men can also be guilted by their wife of girlfriend but it's not as prevalent. Children have grandparents as well and they may also play the guilt card and frown upon you going out with old friends for the night or handing out with single friends.

How to Sustain a Friendship with Those Who Are Parents

I think sharing creates a bond so being allowed to share time with your friend's children is beneficial. You can allows help out as well.
One of the easiest ways to stay connected is to offer some downtime from time to time and babysit their children. Allowing your pal to go out with her husband or significant other provides much relief and keeps you in the loop. You can take the kids to the park, movies, playground or for an overnight sleepover.
You and your bff should also schedule time together; someone else can watch the children so you can continue to do some of the activities that you both enjoyed before children arrived.
Women don't take the time to take care of themselves. We often make the sacrifices and become martyrs for the sake of the children. It's good for one's emotional and mental health to get away from time to time and reconnect to old friends.

Older But Wiser
As children and parents age,friendships may change as well. As I grew older I was fortunate to re connect with friends from my past. They didn't have the same priorities or maybe they divorced and had more time. Friendships go through a lot of changes, much like a marriage. If two people are determined to keep that special bond alive, then it will continue.
In a nutshell, it's not easy being friends with those who have children, when you don't. I hope people see the need to keep longtime friends or short after the baby arrives. Now the grandchild is another story! You can help spoil them.
A lot depends on your stage of life, the age of the kids, spouses, gender, culture and upbringing. Friendships are important and adults need to keep their friends after children arrive.

Bucket Lists are a Waste of Time

Bucket Lists are a Waste of Time

                                        Time's running out

Wishful Living

Most of us want to be happy and have set goals in life to obtain that. Many times we forget that these goals should be adjusted every so often.

Ever since the movie “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was released, I have given some thought to my mortality and my “things to do” list. If this movie taught anything, the number 1 lesson is to never put your life's wishes on hold. There are no guarantees or time expiration date stamped on our backsides, so try to keep your dreams alive; in the present.

Most people think compiling a “last things I wanna do before I die list” is creepy and only reserved for the over 70 crowd. Actually it could be called the dream list or wish list and be more acceptable.

Do you remember playing in the yard with friends and telling each one what you wanted to do when you grew up? Most kids picked firemen, astronauts, nurses, doctors and actresses. Also going on a jungle adventure, fighting bad guys as a Super hero, or becoming the first woman president seemed far fetched at the time. 

Well as time went on, that list changed and was modified. It's only natural to want different thing as you enter each decade of your life.

Tween years

The 9-12 years old range is impressionable and easily swayed to pursue a new interest each week. Entering middle school and meeting new kids creates an exchange of ideas and dreams.

As a 'tween, I wished and wanted to be an actress in the movies and on Broadway.  Spy movies were so popular at the time, so the thought of becoming a girl spy in a movie was also appealing. I would fight the bad guys and save the world. And on my days off, perform on a Broadway stage. Since I had participated in some school plays so I thought this was definitely doable. Yes, 'twens do live in a dream world.
The Teens

The teenage years are often referred to as “the difficult years” to put it mildly. It is often difficult to make the transfer from child to adult without any emotional scars. Teens are put under enormous pressure to choose a career path. There isn't any thought to whether it will make them happy or not, but if they can make a living. 

Since college is the aim for most parents and guidance counselors, no one asks what teens want. The wishes are put on hold again.

As I entered the teen years, my interests turned to art and painting. Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt were my favorite artists so I emulated their styles. I used my brothers model paints and created my works. My art teachers thought I was good and I won some competitions.

But reality set in as my parents convinced me to not pursue art but something more practical, that would make money.

The Twenties

The twenties can be as turbulent as the teens. Everyone is struggling to find a job,finish a college degree or a spouse. There is so much going on that the twenties feels like a race.

As college student, I had so many interests and found it hard to find my true calling as I attended 5 colleges. I finally decided that I was meant to teach handicapped children.

I never regretted that decision and found great satisfaction helping the children. I did, however, incorporate my love of theater and art into my teaching so maybe I kept some of my wish list. My bucket list consisted of earning more degrees and attending more evening classes.
working hard  in our careers
                                              working hard in our careers

The Thirties and Forties

The thirties and forties are concerned with families and getting on with everyday life. The career is important so the wish list is put on hold a little longer until the forties, or longer.Life can get in the way sometimes and happiness delayed.

After I left education, I started to pursue my art again. I now have added photography and digital art as well. I have my work a number of sites now. Since I missed teaching I signed up with several tutoring agencies and became a private tutor.

Writing was an afterthought and so I found that it is enjoyable to write about things I care about. It also allows me to “meet” people from all over the world. I have honed my skills by writing on different sites and subjects. The comments are helpful to my improvement.

Also I am fulfilling a wish I had as a young girl and writing about my family that emigrated from Germany, Ireland and Japan. That’s another story one day.

Are Seniors the only happy ones?

Most of us grew up being told that if work hard enough and put away money for our "golden years", we should then be happy. Seniors are perceived to be the happiest since they don't have the same worries and stresses that the rest of us deal with.;of course that's not true.

Times are tough now but they won't last forever. Even the smallest things that bring you some joy and a smile are important. If these hard times have taught us anything, its time to cherish the family, friends and look for positive things and people in your life. There's always something you can do just for fun.

I enjoy photographing animals, cloud formations and old decayed barns. Some think its dumb but it brings me joy. Maybe the craziest things I would like to try before kicking the old bucket is to try out for a Broadway play, run a marathon, write a screenplay and travel the back roads of the world.

As I look back, life felt much like a race to the finish line. Well-intentioned adults emphasized the more material things in life, like a degree, a good job and a partner, but not happiness. You need food, shelter and a good job; happiness comes later.

Find your inner happiness

Wishing for a better life, making plans for the future and waiting for something good to happen is a waste of time. I spent too many years planning my life and not living it to the fullest. You need to find your inner happiness now and everyday.

Does anyone know if they are happy or not? Actually there are studies indicating that seniors are the happiest age group today and I know why. They are finally able to fulfill most of their bucket lists and made it to the finish line.

Heal Yourself by Forgiving Others

Heal Yourself by Forgiving Others

Healing can take place only after you decide to forgive.
Forgiving does not mean you excuse or condone bad behavior. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and move on.

 Well as the saying goes," To Err is Human and to Forgive is Divine " is probably what most of us strive to do, which isn't easy..

We humans certainly do err and err big! Being mere mortals means we will step on toes, hurt others, and sometimes do permanent damage. Our feelings run deep and our emotions can get the best of us. I think what is all boils down to is poor communication. That's probably why we have bad neighbors, bad relationships, border disputes, wars...etc.

We humans ,with our advanced technology and infinite pool of knowledge,still make a lot of mistakes. And mistakes do cause hurt,anger and distrust. That's where forgiveness come in.

It's not very likely that one will forgive a person that physically hurts us or emotionally betrays us, when we are young. As time goes on and we have endured so many misunderstandings and problems with other people,it comes down to learning to forgive,or let those ill feelings fester . The only one you will punish is yourself,by harboring ill will towards others.

I know this sounds so easy, but it takes practice and a confidence in yourself. If you truly like and love yourself, no one can hurt you for very long.

I'm not saying that there isn't any hurt or anger when one does an injustice; it will probably sting and hurt for a short time. The trick to healing is to forgive the other party and move on.

Some people practice meditation, to get in touch with themselves and to eliminate bad feelings.
Others may take to the gym to work out their emotions and get the endorphins going.
Still others seek out treatment for addictions or psychotherapy to work out childhood issues that have plagued them through adulthood.


Infidelity is a major source of pain for couples. The fact that one partner would stray and cheat creates such a huge pain and causes major distrust issues.
Betrayal of a loved one's trust is probably the worst event in a relationship. It takes a long time to work out the hurt and anger. Many times the relationship can be saved if both sides are committed to working it out.
The best advice for the one that is betrayed is to build their self esteem. Having a good sense of yourself and self worth is a good foundation to feeling better.
There are those who teach that you become more grateful after a relationship has needed. That may take some tie to learn,though.

Forgiving Betrayals

Feeling betrayed isn't limited to a loved one; it can hurt just as much from friends. If you had a childhood friend and they started to ignore you once you both entered high school, it will certainly be painful. This is a common scenario and part of growing up. It also continues when we become adults.
Best friends can betray us because we are emotionally tied to them. We are vulnerable to the whims and actions of those that are close to us. Having them betray that trust can be devastating.
Neighbors and co-workers betray our trust all the time. We are living in a world of gossip and instant fame. Posting a secret about your neighbor or co-worker instantly wreaks havoc; sometimes for the rest of their lives.
With all the technology available,one needs to keep your guard up and not reveal too much. What a world we live in today!

Self Esteem Issues

Many of us grew up with self esteem issues and a lack of confidence. When you don't have confidence in yourself to be happy alone, it sets the stage for future problems. Often times women and some men, will stay in a relationship much longer than they should. This may stem from the fear of abandonment stemming from childhood. If adults were not around when you needed them or you witnessed poor role modelling by your significant adults in your life, you may not have the confidence in yourself.
Being secure with yourself and not being overly concerned with social pressures to be with just anyone is a lesson many adults learn very late in life. Family and societal pressures to have a relationship, even if they are wrong for you, erodes self esteem and confidence.
The task at hand is to learn to build your feelings of self worth. It may require one to move away from the family or social pressures. I know women that moved across country to start anew. Re inventing yourself is a good start to break free of past feeling of failure.

Why Forgive

Forgiveness really is about "letting go'" , that is, stopping the hurt or angry feelings that guides their actions,and thoughts most of the time. We all have heard of,or know of those who are always angry. They seem to be angry at the world, often complaining about what others have done to them or how they are always wronged.
This is pointless. If you need to forgive,then forgive yourself first and move on. You are not perfect. Don't beat yourself up and then others, because you are unhappy.
Seek help in one form or another. Give your self permission to forgive and start healing.
Here are some sources for quotes on forgiveness.I hope they help answer the question,"What is forgiveness?"
Quotes to live by:
Doc Childre and Howard Martin, from The HeartMath Solution quoted:
  • Take it slowly. "The deepest resentments are wrapped up in a lot of hurt and pain. We think we're protecting ourselves by not forgiving. Acknowledge that and go easy on yourself. Forgiveness means that you've decided not to let it keep festering inside even if it only comes up once in a while. Forgiveness is a powerful yet challenging tool that will support and honor you, even in the most extreme circumstances."
  • "always forgive your enemies-nothing annoys them so much "-Oscar Wilde
  • "To forgive is the highest ,most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness " Robert Muller
  • "When you hold resentment toward another,you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free " Catherine Ponder
Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and release your pain and anger. You are not encouraging the bad behavior of another, but helping yourself instead.