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Birth Order 1

Alfred Adler (1870–1937), an Austrian Physicist, and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, was one of the first theorists to suggest that birth order influences personality. He argued that birth order can leave an indelible impression on an individual’s character. According to Adler, firstborns are “dethroned” when a second child comes along, and this may have a lasting influence on them. Younger and only children may be pampered and spoiled, which can also affect their later personalities.


Here are the traits frequently associated with the order of birth personality characteristics as shown on the website of Parents.com.

Firstborns, as the leader of the pack, often tend to be:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achievers

Middle children tend to possess the following characteristics:

  • People-pleasers
  • Somewhat rebellious
  • Thrives on friendships
  • Has large social circle
  • Peacemaker

Youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents’ increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) time around. The baby of the family tends to be:

  • Fun-loving
  • Uncomplicated
  • Manipulative
  • Outgoing
  • Attention-seeker
  • Self-centered

Being the only child is a unique position in a family. Without any siblings to compete with, the only child monopolizes his parents’ attention and resources, not just for a short period of time like a firstborn, but forever. Thus, only children tend to be:

  • Mature for their age
  • Perfectionists
  • Conscientious
  • Diligent
  • Leaders

Gap Children: According to Leman, if you have a gap of at least five years in between births, another family begins in the birth order structure. A 2-year-old boy with a newborn brother and an 8-year-old older sister isn’t going adopt middle-child traits, but rather those of a firstborn.


The Birth Order Theory has become a controversial issue over the years. Many psychologists believe parenting and family size are far greater determining factors than the order in which a person was born. I’m not sure which side is right, but it was fun to see how my family fit into the descriptions.

My three children fall roughly into the personality traits listed. My grandson fits absolutely into the category of only child. He’s definitely mature, a perfectionist, and conscientious.

On the other hand, I’m the first born in my family with one sister two years younger, and I don’t see either of us fitting into the lists.

What do you think? Do your behaviors match your birth order, or are you traveling along your own path?

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Any Volunteers? 8

img_20150222_142324-1Last night my husband came home from the AGM of an amateur theater company and said, “I’m the new treasurer.” Okay? (!)  Granted, this was a little unexpected as he only joined recenlty, although if I’m honest, it wasn’t a total surprise.  Ever since I met him, he’s been volunteering in some shape or form; in fact I met him volunteering.

It’s a GREAT way to meet people!


The Lowe family (that’s his family) have a long history with volunteering with the Red Cross. His mother

Unknown-8was a voluneteer hospital driver…transporting patients to appointments. He’s always been an avid blood donor for the Red Cross and for a long time he donated plasma every three weeks. He’s a bit PO’d that our trip to Papua New Guinea last year has put the kybosh on that for three years due to a strain of malaria up there that they can’t detect ona blood test. Had he known, I think he would have said no to the trip!

We’ve both served on a variety of school boards from kindergarten to high school and we’ve cooked a shirt-load of sausages to raise funds for everything from Boy Scouts to Sailing Club. I’m currently the membership officier of the  sailing support group and the photo up top that was our tent at the school fair last weekend.

1348861796378_3149754We’ve met some great people over the years, forged friendships, learned the type of people we want to work with on a committee and exactly who we don’t want to work with! There have been times when the workload has seemed more than the paid job and yes, there have been times when wine has been drunk after some meetings ;-)  However, the academics from the University of Pennsylvania  and the positive psychology gurus all say that we gain way  more from volunteering and giving than the groups or people we help. Volunteering connects us and as social beings, we need to be connected.

In all of my books, my hero or heroine are involved in their community in some shape or form. In Career Girl in the Country, Poppy starts a community choir for women,  in The Playboy Doctor’s Marriage Proposal, Emily is organizing the Red Cross’s Desperate and Dateless Valentine’s Ball and in …well you get the picture. I won’t list all 27 of of my books ;-)

As our sons are almost grown, our volunteering will soon be moving away from school and back to where we started, so DH being the treasurer of a community theater group is very apt. It was exactly what he was doing when I met him 30 years ago.

Do you volunteer?

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What’s Your Purpose? 2

Have you ever heard the saying that animals know where to go to when they need help?

I’m not Catholic, but at times it seems ironic I was named “Frances” (yes, that’s my real first name) as St. Francis of Assisi is the patron of saint of animals.

For whatever reason, it seems animals have a penchant of finding me, or me finding them. I’m passionate about horses in particular, but it seems that helping them really is a calling on my life- there’s too many coincidences that seem to occur.

For instance, last week during the ice storm I hurried home from work and on the way I noticed that this horse was standing off by himself in the pouring ice and rain. My gut told me something wasn’t right – I should have listened. I stopped and hollered at the horse. He moved and then turned his head in a way I could tell he was blind. I chalked it up to my being over reactive. I didn’t want to be the crazy lady running to the owners over their already blind horse.

The next day, we ventured out to town and drove by that same pasture. The horse was closer to the road and I could tell his eye was severely injured. The owners weren’t home because they’d lost power, so I immediately went and caught the horse. He had gouged his eye out.

In the midst of bringing the horse back to the barn, the owner shows up wondering who this crazy lady is that’s stealing his horse. He quickly changed his tune when he saw what had happened.

That horse was on a road that a lot of people drive down every day. Yet, no one else had ever even noticed.

The week before that, we rescued two horses down the road from us that were a 1.5 and a 2 on the Henneke body score. The local animal control got involved and we fostered them overnight. The next day, they went to Horse Haven.

The mare that we rescued.

The mare that we rescued.

The people who owned the horses also owned a jack (stallion) donkey that wasn’t released to animal control upon an ultimatum. Mysteriously, the donkey was suddenly running loose in the neighborhood. And just where do you think he headed? Yep, you guessed it.

The owners are home but they’re too busy to attempt to catch their donkey. I don’t need a need a bred mare, or a vet bill so  I got my halter and a bucket of grain. Keep in mind, the donkey was literally dragged behind a car when the owners got him. There was no way in hell the donkey was going to get within 20 feet of me!

I couldn’t stay out til midnight trying to catch a donkey that’s not even mine, and the cowgirl in me wouldn’t let me do it when the owners were home doing basically nothing! Besides, the donkey was much closer to their house than  mine. My husband was headed to town so I told him to call the cops.

In the meantime, I headed back to the house looking forward to finally getting some quiet time. I proped my feet up on the couch and turn on my favorite TV show. A little while later, over the babble of the TV, I hear “heeehaaaw heeehaaaw heeehaaaw!” I can’t share the words that came out of my mouth at that moment.

I pulled on my boots and my coat, grumbling the whole time. Sure enough, the donkey was standing in my front yard, just a few feet away from my gelding who’s ready to fight over the fence.

Obviously, the cops and animal control were not going to save the day. It was up to me and me alone to catch this donkey who didn’t want to be caught…in the dark. This could be a problem!

I’ve caught enough loose horses and cattle in my lifetime to know that food is a strong motivator…especially if they’re starved. So I grabbed every single feed bucket I own and put a handful of feed in each one. Then I set up a trail of buckets that led to the round pen. I crossed my fingers and started slowly herding the donkey in the direction of the buckets.

He discovered the first bucket and took the bait. Then he meandered to the second bucket and finished it off. A few buckets later, he was in the round pen! Thank you Jesus!

That was three weeks ago. We still have the donkey, for now, who has been named Oscar. Do you need a donkey? I have one!

Meet Oscar!

Meet Oscar!

Finally getting close.

Finally getting close.

The last six months, we’ve rescued and re-homed two dogs and two horses, and now Oscar.

So what’s your purpose? Was is it that you’re passionate about that always seems to find you even when you might have other plans?


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