Meet Henry!

I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Tharp household: Henry!


My son is an eight-and-a-half-week-old Jack Russell, and the sweetest puppy imaginable.

He is still too small to get up on my bed (if he fell it would be a Henry pancake!) but you would think he had epilepsy the way he clamors to reach me when my parents come into my room.

Henry does tons of sleeping. Actually I’m looking at him right now, and he’s out. Anyone with kids, be it human or canine, knows how dangerous a baby sleeping in the daytime can be.

It’s gonna be a long night.

To Outline Or To Not Outline, That Is The Question

I obviously love to write. It’s so satisfying to see something that was formally in your head, on a computer screen. I have taken many writing classes online as well. I don’t know if I was hoping to improve… or wanting homework!

Everyone of them gave the same advice: Outline, outline, outline!



What a load of bologna.Don’t you writers agree?

At least for me, writing is almost an adventure. What will happen next? Wait, let me think. I guess you could say that I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. I am excited when something good pops into my head. If you have everything figured out, there is no spontaneity. You feel like you have written it already! I do get writer’s block often, but I guess it’s better than being bored. Besides, an outline wouldn’t solve writer’s block. I don’t think it would, anyway.


A 32-Year-Old Kid

This is truly a stretch, I fear, but our morning routine was really thrown out the window this morning! Usually it’s repeated morning after morning: I wake up at about 6:30 or 6:45, “soak” for a while, and at 7:15 Mom or Dad turns on “Good Morning America.” Medicine at 7:45. It’s like “Groundhog’s Day.”

Now to this morning. I was woken at 3:30! Why the heck? you ask.

This morning, Mom and I did a 5K at “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Translation: Disneyland. Dad was an extremely good sport and was our driver.

I hadn’t been to Disneyland in five years! I forgot how much fun it was—and we didn’t even go on any rides! Just strolling (The 5K was a “fun run” and not timed) down Main Street brought me back to childhood. My favorite “land” was always Fantasyland. Small World was my favorite ride, with Storybook Gardens a close second. They both have wheelchair lifts so I could go on them.

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Despite being tired from lack of sleep, I would definitely do it again. What’s missing three hours’ sleep to feeling like a kid again?

Movies and Reel Life


Do you watch a movie strictly for it’s entertainment value, or can you usually see deeper messages in it? I have Netflix, and there is always the iTunes store, so I basically can view any movie anytime. I have seen some good ones this year. “American Sniper” and “McFarland” were my favorites.

When I leave the theater, I will say how good the movie was. But later, when I have had time to mull it over in my head, I can usually pick out things we all can relate to.   Take “McFarland;” it basically said through hard work, anything is possible.

Some of my favorites have similar “morals.” I have no idea when I will have nieces and nephews, but the following few movies they can watch with Auntie Erin. Besides being a good story, the movies have a meaning that is essential.

“October Sky” and “Gifted Hands” tell about how education is the key to anything, be it a rocket scientist like Homer Hickim, or Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon turned now presidential candidate.

“That Thing You Do” is just a fun story of four or five friends who have a garage band turned number one hit in the early sixties. Sometimes you just have to have a little fun!

If I had to narrow it down to just one movie that sums up what it means to be human, I’d be here all day!

Girly Goy

My nine-year-old Corgi, Margaret Elizabeth (such a feminine name for such an unfeminine dog!), exudes tomboy. She is a boy with female parts. A goy or a birl. I look out the French doors of my room and she could either be rolling around on the grass in the backyard, as though she is having a grand mal seizure, or chasing one of the many lizards that live back there.

On my 31st birthday last July, I wanted to take her to the Huntington Beach dog beach. I could see it now: she was going to have a blast splashing and playing in the waves with the other dogs! Her inner boy could come out!

At least, that’s how I imagined it.

What dog wouldn't love spending a day here?

What dog wouldn’t love spending a day here?

Here’s what happened:

Arriving there:

Erin: Maggie, you’re going to have fun, I love the beach!

Maggie: I hope so, just not sure about this stuff under my feet. I don’t really like it.

Erin: It’s called sand. It’s hard at first, but you’ll have so much fun you’ll forget about it.


Answer: my dog.

Answer: my dog.

Claiming our spot:

(Watching the other dogs playing in the water. There were Labs, Beagles, and mutts. No Corgi. Yet.)

Erin: Let’s go down by the water.

Maggie: What’s water?

Erin: It’s like what you drink, but at the beach you play in it. Look at how much fun those dogs are having!


Maggie having no part of it.

Maggie having no part of it.


Without even getting a paw wet, my goy had had enough. We spent another hour at the beach, occasionally one of my family members taking her back to the water, with no success. She was braver more comfortable on the blanket.


What. A. Day.

What. A. Day.



When we finally left—none too soon for Maggie—my dog rested the whole way home and a lot of the next day. She was exhausted. FROM WHAT, I still wonder.

Maybe next time we’ll try the mountains. Or the desert. Or even the backyard. Just not the beach.