Month: October 2011

Most Haunted Town

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In honor of Halloween, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to celebrate our town’s ghoulish history. After living here over five years, it’s pretty obvious there are many Atchisonians who seem to love Halloween… so, this one’s for you:Goblins, ghosts and ghouls,

Skeletons, monsters and things that drool.

Fake blood, oozing eyes,

Scared children fear surprise.

Witches and spells and Sallie House tales,

Creepy crawling things, with flaking scales.

Pumpkins turned into jack-o-lanterns,

Spiders spinning webs,

Itchy, little costumes and skeletons bobbing their heads.

Brews and potions being mixed,

Houses full of favorite Halloween tricks.

“Most Haunted Town in the U.S.,”

Our claim to fame; who would’ve guessed?

A whisper, a rumor, a great story line,

Ghostly tales filling our minds.

Sold-out trolley tours explain the history,

The Travel Channel even features our mystery.

Orange lights strung on houses,

Ghosts swaying in the breeze,

Scary little noises that’ll make your heart freeze.

Enter Jackson Park,

If you think you might dare,

The clock strikes midnight,

A scream in the air.

The weak and the weary should be aware.

Tales of the hauntings might make one scared,

The children are most likely oblivious to all this,

And might even think it a bit frivolous.

To them it’s all princesses and pirates, too,

Creative costumes, all shiny and new.

Come later that night, they’ll be covered in goo,

From Tootsie Rolls, caramels and taffy, too.

They can’t believe the candy is free,

Thinking to themselves, “How can this be?”

They’ll squeal in delight and say trick-or-treat,

Waiting to see what they’ll get to eat.

Candy and prizes and finally the big score,

A full size chocolate bar from your neighbor next door.

Brookdale is popular, the hot spot in town,

With kids coming from streets all around.

Snicker bars, Starbursts, lollipops and Nerds,

Kids stuff themselves with candy not uttering a word.

A month from now the dentist office full,

Kids with lots of cavities, all missing school.

Novocain and fillings, is it worth one night,

Of sugary indulgences, and stomachaches all night?

The children smile with glee, and don’t care a bit,

Thinking it all absolutely worth the trip.

But beware of the ghosts and goblins tonight,

We live in Atchison, most known for its fright.

In the streets be safe and cross with care,

Use common sense and stay in pairs.

This night goes quickly,

Enjoy it while you can,

And please throw away your wrappers in the nearest trashcan.


Compliments of The Atchison Globe

It’s a Boy!

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The score is 5-3. The girls are still in the lead but our family is a little more balanced now. Our son finally has a brother — that is, as long as you count our new puppy. Bentley arrived (or rather, was picked up), last weekend at 9 weeks of age. He weighs a whopping two pounds. My fifth baby was a nine-pounder, but no complaints because I didn’t give birth to an entire litter. Now, our family is officially complete.
My husband, originally the slowest to give in to the idea of being dog owners, was ready to bring home two puppies. (He’s obviously turning into a softy in his old age.) Thank goodness common sense took over and we left with just one new addition.
Our little guy resembles a ball of fluff and looks like a teddy bear. After posting his cute mug on Facebook (I am his proud mama after all), I had people tell me their kittens are bigger than him. Being part Lhasa Apso and part toy poodle, he doesn’t shed (my foremost concern). He passed his first veterinarian well-check with flying colors. All around, he fits right in with our family. He’s very social, loves attention, scarfs down his food, and then likes to nap.
Although I researched like a mad woman on how to care for puppies, it’s different when they join your family. I feel like I have another child, except I seem to have skipped the newborn stage and am now smack dab in the middle of potty-training a toddler. He’s a little defiant (like my children), feels the need to mark his territory (constantly), and he’s begun to think my entire house is edible. (I could only wish for chocolate walls.) My copy of “Puppies for Dummies” should arrive in the mail any day. I ordered it just days after he arrived. I’m not too proud to admit I need some more direction. The mass viewing of puppy training videos and YouTube training tricks weren’t enough. Even the puppy newsletters arriving daily in my inbox only skim the surface of information available. I need more!
The first night of kennel training was rough. Bentley acted like we were trying to kill him. He’s calmed down greatly thanks to my 11-year-old. She’s earned the title “The Dog Whisperer.” Somehow she calms him down into this Zen state so the rest of us can sleep. The first few nights it was ear plugs for everyone.
Just like my children, I want to buy him something every time I go to the store. Next on the list — a travel crate, travel purse, travel anything so we don’t crash and die. He’s already ridden in the car several times, including a visit to pre-school for show-and-tell. (Yes, he’s gifted.) The “Free Dog” approach to traveling hasn’t gone over very well. I have no idea how people drive with their dogs in their lap. I can barely drive with Bentley restrained in the passenger seat. I’ve been tempted to dump out my purse and stuff him in there.
He seems to have taken to our whole family. My 6-year-old carries him around wrapped in a blanket like he’s a newborn baby. He falls asleep in her arms with his paws crossed every time. (It’s quite adorable, I must say.) My son already wants him to sleep in his bed. And my 3-year-old never leaves him alone. Basically for the whole family — it’s definitely puppy love.

Compliments of The Atchison Globe

Hope Quote:

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Hope is in all-day kindergarten now. The other day I told her how much I missed having her at home with me. She said, “I miss you too, Mommy, but I really miss Bentley!”

Six-year-olds can be humbling.

Puppy Bliss

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Puppy Bliss

Abby, Phil, Bentley and Hope

Puppy Search: Part 2

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Obviously, I’ve gotten a puppy since this column was written but I can’t post until my columns are locally published.

Puppy search: Part 2
Lisa Baniewicz
Full House

The puppy search continues. Some days I feel like my family is never going to get a dog. By the time my family agrees on one, the dog has already been adopted or we’re the 10th family in line for the same dog. My pet search has stretched from Atchison, to Nebraska, to Iowa and as far south as a tank of gas will get me. I don’t want to give up yet. I’ve actually considered asking my mother-in-law to bring one from Arizona on her next visit. No human should wear a fur coat in the desert, why should a dog suffer? There must be several dogs that want to escape the heat. Everyone else certainly does by this time of year. It’s still 105 degrees there!
It’s amazing how much time searching for a dog can take. My husband says I’m starting to get a little obsessed. I think he’s worried about me and I certainly don’t want to tell him “a little” obsessed might be the understatement of the century. No sense in scaring him. I’m just trying to find the right one.
I’ve begun to rationalize my obsession for a dog and question my mental state at the same time. I wonder if I’m subconsciously replacing a hidden desire to add another Baniewicz baby to our family with a puppy instead. How do I tell the difference? I guess if I start buying the puppy cute, little onesies to wear that would be a major red flag. Or if I register at PetSmart for a puppy shower, this may be cause for alarm.
As a friend suggested, I might be over-thinking this dog thing. Maybe I just want to justify talking to myself out loud since this habit has become part of my daily routine. It might make me feel better if I thought someone was listening, even if it was a dog. I could teach my dog to talk back — on second thought; my kids have that mastered already. Instead, I could train my dog to refill my coffee every morning. This would inevitably attract the attention of David Letterman. We could be featured on his “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment, although I’d make him change the name to “Most Talented Pets in America.” My dog would become so famous; people would pay me to see its talent. I’ll tell my husband it’ll be a long-term investment, kind of like mutual funds. He’ll be so thrilled at this latest realization.
Whatever tricks I might teach my puppy, potty-training is top priority. Ideally, I hope to find a puppy before winter arrives or find a dog that’s already house-trained. I really don’t want to potty-train a puppy when it’s snowing outside. How could I expect it to want to go outside if I don’t want to face the cold? I can see myself now (as will my neighbors), in my pajamas, winter coat and snow boots. It certainly won’t be my finest hour. I’m pretty sure they won’t care.
My exciting plans for my new pup include bringing it with me anywhere dogs are allowed. Zona Rosa shopping center is now “dog friendly.” I nearly fell over when I read this news. Then again, I’ve begun to wonder if the YMCA would mind my puppy using a treadmill every now and again?
Maybe I do need to calm down a bit, regroup, and take a deep breath. I know my husband would appreciate that and stop looking at me sideways. It’s starting to make me feel a little self-conscious. However, I refuse to give up. There will be no throwing in the towel yet, or the pooper-scooper for that matter.

Compliments of the Atchison Globe