Monthly Archives: January 2012


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lynn's Comments: One of the concerns my husband had at the dental clinic was well meaning moms wanting to be in the operatory to "help calm their children". Typically, the child would be fine with the dental staff and the doctor but mom would insist on being there--that's when the problems began. I remember him telling me about a mother who watched the procedure in silence until he was ready to inject the anesthetic. Then she said to her son in a sing-song voice; "Here comes the needle!!" The child immediately started to howl and the process was delayed until he settled down. Just knowing that mom was listening in might be enough for a nervous or high maintenance kid to start a row. So the farther the parent was separated from the patient the better.

I did this strip a few months after this actual incident occurred. The characters were changed to protect the identities of the patient and his mom. As far as I know, they never did see the connection!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-02
Appearing: , , ,
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-03
Appearing: ,
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lynn's Comments: There were times when we did pull the silent treatment on each other. I don't know if it was a kind of punishment or an effort to think before saying anything else that might hurt. With so many things on our minds, small concerns like this were soon forgotten and life returned to normal.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-04
Appearing: ,
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lynn's Comments: This bit of dialogue is word for word from my first marriage. When my husband refused to talk about a problem, I sarcastically made up both sides of the conversation. His response was "You have NO idea what I'm thinking!" and my reply was: "Then, TALK to me!"
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-05
Appearing: ,
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lynn's Comments: I knew the kids suffered any time we fought. We didn't disagree too often, but when we did, Kate and Aaron felt it was somehow their fault. We usually don't talk to them about the issues, we don't explain what's happening and why we're mad, so kids try and unravel the puzzle the best way they know how. To a child, the world revolves around them--and if this is the case, it must be their fault if the world leaves it's axis and gets wobbly sometimes! I tried to show that here.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-06
Appearing: ,
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Friday, January 6, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Since the temperature up north did dip well below --20 degrees C, going for a walk to "cool off" wasn't a bad idea. You either resolved your mental conflict in a hurry or wound up at a friend's place for a beer.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-07
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-08
Appearing: ,
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Settling disputes between the offspring usually fell to me and there were times when I had no patience left to work with. I was so tired of the constant, petty squabbles to care. If the kids could go outside, they'd be too occupied to start a row, but inside, the tug-of-war waged on and I would often be at the "end of my rope".

I would envy the guys who disappeared into their workshops to "get stuff done". It was hard to deny them the time they spent over an oily valve or a piece of lumber or a broken pipe. This was, after all, essential to the household maintenance. The cool, quiet ambience of the workshop was a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Guys dropping by to give advice or lend a hand were welcome. They'd lean comfortably against the doorframe, chewing the fat, and hoping for a beer to materialize. Sometimes they even got sandwiches and cake! It might take a day to fix a gadget or repair a hose--time well spent according to the men folk, but... an entire day?!!

Some of my friends had hunter/fishermen in the family and when the weekend came, their men folk would go off to the call of the wild. The women kept the home fires burning and the small fry in line. When we came into contact with each other, we'd compare notes about the absent spouses. What did the guys REALLY do while we held down the fort? Mystery loves company. So, while I went along with the social flow, I resented it as well. Situations like this found their way into For Better or For Worse and I was always comforted by the responses from other moms who said, "That happens at OUR house, too!" It was wonderful to know I wasn't alone.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-09
Appearing: , , ,
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Lynn's Comments: The worst thing about having a kid in hockey is the gear. The odd hours of practice, the driving and the butt-numbing seats in the stands were a pleasure compared to the fitting, loading, dressing and stench of the required gear. Hockey moms go unappreciated until a kid grows up and becomes a hockey parent themselves!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-10
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-11
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lynn's Comments: After all the hockey I've watched, after all of the news clips and interviews and hockey related trivia I've had to endure ...I still don't really understand the rules. A pile up like this, to me, might just as well be part of the game. How un-Canadian!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-12
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Being part of a team meant a lot to Aaron. He loved the camaraderie, the excitement and getting together with all the participants after a game. The kids felt a real kinship. Being in "uniform" gave them status and worth. It was important, therefore, to teach them that no matter how padded and colourful, the uniform does not make the man!

We had to make sure the kids maintained their good manners, even though they imagined themselves hitting the big leagues, then hitting the bars, and hitting each other! The contrast between the confident team player and the immature little boy was enormous--it was hard not to "parent" a youngster who was trying so hard to be a man.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-13
Appearing: , , ,
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Whenever I've needed a serious change in my life, I've changed my hair. For some reason, hair that has been fine for ages suddenly becomes ugly and HAS to be restyled. I don't know why they call it "the crowning glory"--to me, it's less of a crown and more of a barometer!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-14
Appearing: ,
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lynn's Comments: This dialogue never took place. Neither did I hit the sack with my face dredged in wrinkle cream. I just took a line of thought, stretched it into whatever space it would fit, and came up with this. No wonder my in-laws would say "Why are you so mean to Elly and John"?
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-15
Appearing: ,
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Katie did chew her mittens--right through the thumb. This strip was another cry of angst from her mom. My kids were often lucky that I could "use" this material!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-16
Appearing: ,
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-17
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lynn's Comments: I don't remember having class outings at all when I was in elementary school, and the Lynn Lake environment didn't provide much in the way of field trips unless one toured the mine. I imagined, then, what it would be like to take a group of children to an average city gallery and see how they'd react to the experience.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-18
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-19
Appearing: , , ,
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-20
Appearing: , ,
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-21
Appearing: ,


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Since Michael had visited an art gallery and had been exposed to some sculptural "exposure"...I wanted to have some fun with his snowmen. This strip got me into some hot water, but not enough to melt the scene. Fortunately, my easy-going readers thought it was a funny idea and the editors agreed.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-22
Appearing: , , ,
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Here is another word for word exchange between my husband and me. The punch line was exactly as written. I didn't toss a measuring cup--but I sure wanted to. This resulted in his taking over the pressing of his own shirts and clinic gowns--until we hired a housekeeper who came once a week and actually enjoyed ironing!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-23
Appearing: , , ,
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Lynn's Comments: These words came directly from my mother's mouth and later from mine. Seems to me that kids enjoy being in on the local gossip as much as we do! Trouble is they, too pass it on!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-24
Appearing: , , , ,
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Here's another example of how to bring readers up to date with a few underlying story arcs. In the first panel, you catch up with what's going on in two relationships and still get a kid-fuelled smart remark as a punch line. I loved this ploy!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-25
Appearing: , , , ,
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Some strips require no explanation; no example of how it came to be. "It's MINE" played out between my brother and then, naturally, between my kids. This is one of those timeless scenarios which parents are so used to, that the only intervention considered is on behalf of the TOYS!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-26
Appearing: ,
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Looking out the front room window requires a face print. There's no way around it. Combine a check on the neighborhood with a greasy facial negative and you have accomplished two things at once. Forcing one's nose and lips onto a glass surface is a satisfying form of artistic expression which I'd continue to do today if I didn't personally have to clean it off.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-27
Appearing: , ,
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In Books:
Daily or Sunday:
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Atari and Pong were the two big video games of the day and my son, Aaron, played them endlessly. The beep, bop, zap sounds drove me crazy...but compared to the earth-shattering sound effects of today's offerings, these were musical interludes!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-28
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lynn's Comments: It was my brother who played Atari until his legs fell asleep. The TV was on a stand, too far from the couch to allow for serious and intense interaction, so players sat on the floor in reverent communion with the screen. After a marathon of gaming, Alan couldn't walk and Aaron had forgotten to go to the bathroom. Both staggered up the stairs in search of relief and I took advantage. Another strip was in the bag!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-29
Appearing: , ,
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lynn's Comments: After looking for the bathtub plug for some time, I once settled on a spud that fit right into the hole. I'll do anything to have a nice, hot bath! Years later, I was visiting friends in Cuba. A neighbour kindly invited us to her house for dinner and when we went to do the dishes afterwards, there was no plug in the sink. She was about to use a soup pot to wash up in when I saw a basket of fresh potatoes under the counter. I selected one the right size and popped it into the hole.

Potato is "papa" in Spanish and the word for plug is "tapa". So, I said, "Look! You have a papa for a tapa!" She laughed and I promised her that I would bring her a plug the next day. My friends and I went to every hardware store in Havana and could not find a simple rubber stopper for a sink! There were a number of things we couldn't find: a large garbage pail with a lid, a good pair of scissors, and masking tape--these things are found everywhere back home. I couldn't believe that these small, useful items that we all take for granted were so hard to find.

The following year, I went back to Cuba. I took our friend a plug for her sink and a number of other things. She was more than pleased--she was grateful. Circumstances there are different now. Cuba has opened up and stores are able to carry more products. I still visit my friends and we always recall the time I used a papa for a tapa... a little trick I brought from home.
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-30
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About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-01-31
Appearing: ,
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lynn's Comments: Rod was away often, as he worked in the isolated villages in Northern Manitoba one week out of every month, so it was a treat to be able to go to a convention once in awhile and stay in a nice hotel. On one occasion, Aaron was told that his dad's absence made him the MAN of the household which was a serious position with a lot of responsibility. As Rod left, he asked Aaron if he had any questions. Aaron thought it over and said, seriously; "What will you bring me?" I used this punchline instead!
About This Strip:
Originally Run: 1983-02-01
Appearing: , ,
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