Hey y’all, it’s been a crazy few days. No really, ever since I got back from my Cousin’s funeral it’s been non-stop. It’s been so crazy I forgot to take my child to a doctor’s appointment. I’ve never in my entire life forgotten to take myself or a kid to a doctor’s appointment. It’s been that kind of crazy. I have a proper blog in the works but in the meantime enjoy these pictures of these garden gnomes I found on one of my walks. I think the gnomes stole my brain and that’s why I forgot that doctor’s appointment. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
How is everyone doing? Emotionally, financially, etc.? My friends and I have been doing check ins every few days just to make sure no one has gone off the deep end. I, myself, am doing fine. Like one of my friends said, I’ve been training for this crap my entire life. My day isn’t much different from the summers of my childhood stuck at home while the parents went to work or when my kids were small and I was a stay at home mom. I’m trapped at home (probably grounded) with limited supplies and a mountain of laundry and dishes. I have to be creative if I want to stay off the tv. Yep, it’s just summer in 1988. But, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about the ducks that have taken up residence in my back yard. I have named them Phyllis and George.
Phyllis and George have been coming around since the first real week of our shut in – let’s say around Wednesday, March 18. This is not the first time we’ve had ducks in our back yard. This has happened every Spring since we moved here three years ago. Usually, the ducks show up a couple of times and leave but not this year. Phyllis and George really like it here. It is like their vacation destination. Apparently, the weeds in my flower beds are primo eats and they love to swim in our pool that is in desperate need of a re-do.
Their routine goes like this. George will show up early (like 7) to swim then he starts quacking. We think he’s calling for Phyllis. Then a little while later Phyllis shows up. They eat, swim, bathe (like flick water on their backs and groom themselves) then take a nap. If it’s rainy they stick around pretty much all day but on sunny days they are usually gone by noon. Sometimes we see them in the evening repeating their eat, swim, bathe, nap routine; sometimes there is no night visit. The latest we’ve seen them is right before sunset. They have absolutely no fear of us. We have stayed at least 10 feet away but they just look at us like we are just very large strange looking ducks. They aren’t even afraid of our dog as long as he’s on a leash. These ducks are almost as tame as the Disney ducks that hang around the Magic Kingdom in Florida.
Phyllis and George’s routine have been pretty solid until yesterday. Yesterday, George was not in our pool or our grass but up on our roof. You read that right, the roof. Today, Phyllis arrived alone for breakfast and a swim when not one but two drakes showed up. Apparently, Phyllis has two guys following her around. Since we can’t tell the drakes apart we’ve decided the second drake’s name is Fred after Fred and George Weasley. – And, as if all this wasn’t enough, I was weeding my front flower beds this morning and noticed the mulch was all messed up in one spot. As I started toward the area, Phyllis came out from behind a bush and took off. Then I noticed her nest nearby. Our yard is like a mullet – business in the front with a party in the back. There hasn’t been any more duck activity since that little incident this morning so I’m a little bit worried I freaked her out and she won’t go back to her nest. I hope not. That would make me extremely sad. Hopefully, we will see her and one of the guys tomorrow. I will keep everyone posted.
I think I will start posting a daily picture of George/Fred and Phyllis on my Trying to Have it Y’all Facebook page. Until next time, I hope everyone reading this is healthy, not too bored and making the best of this sucky situation.
Okay, readers, I need feedback. No, really this topic is a doozy and I genuinely want to hear opinions. So, I’m at the post office mailing a couple of boxes. There’s a 20 minute line. No big deal. I knew it would be like that because we are a week from Christmas. I had a full battery on my phone and I was set to scroll Insta, Facebook and the news then I feel a presence behind me – REALLY close – like not even 12 inches off my person. I look over my left shoulder and it’s another lady. She is as they say “not from around here”. I won’t divulge her nationality just yet but suffice it to say English was probably not her first language. More on that later. Then a few minutes later Sing Song Mommy comes in with her 3 – 4 year old child. Sing Song Mommy you ask? Oh, you know the type. She talks in a very loud, high, sing song voice and refuses to give the child a direct command. It’s more like this, “Oh sweetie please don’t roll on the ground it’s so yucky.” All the while using the weirdly cheery, loud, high pitched sing song voice. Of course, the kid knows this woman lacks all manner of backbone and does whatever the hell it wants but I digress.
So, Sing Song Mommy and her child are probably driving the poor lady behind me crazy because she’s practically asking for a piggyback ride she is so close. I try to ignore it all and find my zen. Then too close lady starts getting phone calls. She’s so close I can hear her phone vibrate. She takes out her phone, answers it in a foreign language, talks for under a minute and hangs up. This happens at least 6 times in about a span of 6 minutes. She is starting to get agitated. You can hear it in her tone of voice even though I can’t understand what’s she’s saying. Hell, I’d be agitated too if someone was calling me that much. And, this is where it all gets dicey.
Up in my personal space gets yet another call. It lasts only a couple of seconds. She hung up, tossed the package she had been holding onto the little waiting area counter and sprinted out the door. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t motion for me or Sing Song Mommy to hold her spot. We are talking NOTHING. She just bolts. I looked back at Sing Song who looked just as bewildered as I looked and then it hit me. The lady left her package behind. Unattended baggage. Agitated and shifty behavior. I briefly thought to myself should I yell bomb and run or cover my head? And, then I thought but I’m next in line and I’ve waited freaking 20 minutes – like that would have helped had it been a bomb. No sooner had I completed all these thoughts did two things happen. Too close came sprinting back inside and got back in her place in line acting as if nothing weird happened and I was called to the desk to take care of my packages. The postal worker said nothing about the lady sprinting out and back. She said nothing about the package being left unattended. Postal service lady said nothing except ground was the same price as priority mail. The whole thing was never acknowledged. I paid the postage and walked out.
Now, what I want to know is what would you have done? Would you have yelled bomb and ducked for cover or ran out out the door? Would you have just kinda puzzled it all out and done what I did? Would the way the woman was dressed have anything to do with your reaction? The reason I ask is that the woman in question was of Middle Eastern descent and was wearing a hijab. My suburb has a very large Middle Eastern and Indian community. It is a common everyday occurrence to see Sikh turbans, hijabs, and saris. It’s very common to hear other languages besides English. No one blinks an eye at any of this. Yet, I’m not going to lie I was totally unnerved when the woman left her package and ran out the door. I’d like to think I was unnerved because of the woman’s sketchy and suspicious behavior and not because she was wearing a hijab. I say I’d like to think because I’m not sure if my suspicions were clouded because of the inordinate amount of terrorists that come from the Middle Eastern countries. Maybe I was stereotyping. After all, stereotypes are around for a reason even though there’s only about a 50/50 shot it’s true. For argument’s sake lets look at a few other stereotypes. If instead of a lady in a hijab what if it was a guy in full tactical gear open carrying a gun. Would that have made me or you nervous? Wouldn’t that be a stereotype? Let’s try a situation that’s a little more benign. What if you or I saw a woman with a bunch of kids? Are we automatically going to think she belongs to a certain religion or does one think she must really like kids? Maybe it all depends on your world view and how much you think in stereotypes. I do know one thing if too close woman had said anything or even gestured that she’d be right back, I wouldn’t have felt weird at all. I would have thought she had to meet someone outside or go pee or any number of things. I would not have been wracking my brain as to what was about to happen next.
Incidentally, this isn’t the first weird thing that has happened to me at this post office. Check out this early blog post. I’ve got to start using UPS and FedEx and staying away from this post office.
I saw a funny meme the other day. It said something to the effect of I wish I could get a job doing what I really love – eating tacos and drinking margaritas. I chuckled but immediately started thinking about the things I love and I’m good at. If I could make a living doing what I was truly good at and truly enjoyed what would that job look like? Well, let’s inventory my skills. I can mow yards, clean house, do laundry and run errands better than almost anyone I know. I’m a pretty good home cook but I’m no chef. Speaking of food, I really love to eat. I drink well with others too. I’m good at walking for fitness – I mean I can walk 1,000 billion miles. I can tell you the title and/or the artist of almost any song you can think of within 5 to 10 seconds of the song starting. I mean it; I would slay at Name that Tune. I adore movies, tv and pop culture. I pretty much speak in movie and song quotes. In fact, I would go so far as to say I’m a wealth of useless knowledge. I adore trivia. So, where does that leave me in the job department? Nowhere, that’s where. So guess what I do? I’m a preschool teacher of sorts.
I don’t have a teaching certificate; I kind of fell into this job. I’m still trying to get into a library position but until that opens up this is fun but damn if I don’t have some stories from those kids. Incidentally, I love the littles. They’re fun, cute and for the most part easy to keep in line, unlike older kids. A long, level death stare usually does the trick. But, the job isn’t without its downside. God bless them they really are like tiny wild animals right down to peeing on the floor because they haven’t quite go aiming perfected. One of the worst of their wild animal tendencies is inappropriate touching. You’ve never lived until you’ve had a five year old smack your ass cause they just wanted to see what would happen when they did it. You’ve also never lived until a 4 year old licked your yoga pant clad ass. That story went a little something like this.
My teaching partner and I tag-team teach. My partner usually does games while I do crafts but on this day I was cleaning up a mess while she had our crew around our big table doing a craft. Everything was rocking along fine until this one little girl we swear is a psychopath because she never smiles or blinks, rises from the table, walks behind my partner and licks my partner’s ass like it was an ice cream cone. Then the little dead eye child proceeded to laugh maniacally as she walked to her cubby to retrieve a water bottle. God bless my partner; she didn’t flinch or miss a beat. She kept on instructing how to glue that part and color the other part but she was shook. You could see it all over her face. Now we watch where we stand when that little girl is around.
As I sip my Friday reward (wine), I wonder what next week will bring and if there is such a thing as a dream job. A job that will use my talents like not blinking at having to clean up pee from 5 year olds that can’t yet aim and who knows what the first tubular steel roller coast was. For those who are interested, it’s was the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in California.
P.S. Y’all this week was a reach. I was totally uninspired and it was workity work this week. Hopefully, this little story made you laugh and I will be more inspired next week.
We are a Disney Family. Well, most of us. The kids and I bleed in Mickey Mouse shaped droplets. My husband, on the other hand; let’s just say he’s not as on board with “The Mouse” as the rest of us. He’s your casual fan. He enjoys the movies. He endures our ridiculous daily references, music and various tchotchkes around the house. He’s dutifully gone to the parks with us and once he’s there he has a great time. But, in general, he is not a theme park person. He does not like standing in the hot sun in long ass lines with other sweaty bodies to ride a 2 minute ride all while walking 10 miles a day and spending a few thousand for the pleasure of it all. So, when I told him we were kicking off the summer by making the kitchen sink he just shrugged and rolled his eyes. Truth be told, I think he’s just happy I wasn’t begging to go to a Disney Park again.
What is the Kitchen Sink you ask? Honestly, it should be called something like the Fat American or pancreas killer but because this is a dish served at Disney World it’s given a nicey- nice name. Basically, it’s the most colossal ice cream sundae you’ve ever seen. One can find this monstrosity at the Beaches and Cream Ice Cream Shop located on the Boardwalk of the Walt Disney World Beach Club Resort. This sundae contains has every single topping at the shop heaped on a metric ton of ice cream. Here’s a link to ingredients. If you prefer to watch one being made, here’s a link for that.
A few days ago, we went off to the nicest Walmart in America in search of ingredients for this thing. I’ve talked about our Walmart before. It’s super bougie; it has brick cart wranglers. Anyway, we cheated a little bit. The recipe calls for an absurd amount of baked goods and candy we don’t eat so we cheated a bit but still, we had about $20 bucks worth of crap in the cart. Y’all, it was like making Thanksgiving dinner the amount of prep work and clean up for this thing. And, the biggest surprise of all was we couldn’t finish it. Like we barely ate half. My husband ate four bites, proclaimed it too much and tapped out. My oldest ate a few more bites then started leaning over the real kitchen sink yelling, “I feel like I’m gonna puke.” He had to go lay down for about 30 minutes. My youngest and I ate about 8 to 10 bites and threw in the towel. We covered the whole business in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. Later that afternoon my youngest did throw up. It was just too much sugar. We did manage to thaw the leftovers out the next day and eat some of it. My youngest did not participate. In fact, I think she’s sworn off ice cream for a year. I honestly don’t know how anyone finishes this thing unless you have about 10 people with you. If any of my readers have ever ordered one of these things I’ve got to know if you finished it and if so how many people were with you.
Y’all, May got me like whoa and I know I’m not the only one. I was doing so good. Keeping up with everything. May the 4th hit. I was laughing and joking and talking about how Texas is finally going to get out of school before Memorial Day is over and then it hit, Mother’s Day, and it all went down from there. We had Mother’s Day, my Mother in Law’s birthday, state mandatory testing, finals, awards ceremonies, end of year parent meetings, dance recital dress rehearsal, a full day of dance recitals and a visit from my Mother in Law. I am done. Fried. Burnt to a crisp. I forgot this weekend is Memorial Day weekend. I mean just plain forgot. This afternoon before I left, my boss had to remind me not to come into work on Monday. It’s been that kind of crazy.
It’s been so crazy that I cracked open the beer pictured above thinking it was a Diet Coke. It was an honest mistake. I mean I buy the minis for both so they both come in small silver cans. Or, was it really a mistake? Maybe my brain was secretly trying to tell me ‘slow down girl and do a little early afternoon daytime drinking. ‘ I know I’m not alone in this. I know many families that are worse off than me. My cousin has kids graduating from 5th, 8th and 12th grades this year. All I can think of is she must be super woman.
Internet sensations, The Holderness Family, recently did a parody song about May is just as busy as December but with no presents. They aren’t wrong. The hell of it is I really thought I had it under control but then it all went sideways. I even had a couple of searing political blog posts almost finished and ready to rock but then things got crazy and I couldn’t finish them and now it’s two weeks after the fact. (Facepalm)
So, what are y’all doing for the holiday, since apparently, this is a holiday weekend? I have zero plans but laundry but I think I see another beer, not a Diet Coke, in my future.
A few years ago it was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, then Tide pods and just last week I heard about a Bird Box challenge. Now we have the 10 year/how bad have I aged challenge. Not to steal Heather Land’s schtick, but I ain’t doing it. No, I’m not some conspiracy theorist worried about my facial recognition data harvesting. I just don’t have the time and the wear with all to go hunt down the oldest picture I have on Facebook. Hell, I don’t even know how long I’ve been on Facebook. I know it was around the time my kids were born. If I’m being honest the only reason I still get on Facebook is that just about everyone I know is on there and it’s one of the best ways to keep in touch with all the friends and family we have in other places across the country.
I mean, does anyone really care how many crows feet and grey hairs we’ve accumulated? I sure as hell don’t. And, let’s face it, every single one of us has that one friend that looks better than they did 10 years ago and it makes even the least vain person jealous as hell. You start questioning everything. Did that person make a deal with the devil or do they just have fabulous genes or maybe they had a little work done by a REALLY good doctor. Everyone bitches about how Facebook paints an overly competitive picture and pits us against one another in an effort to show our less than authentic social media selves. Well, this stupid challenge is the height of overly competitive less than authentic selves.
I’ll be honest, I’m not one for any of these challenges. I’ve never participated in any of them. I’m not really a joiner. I loathe the bandwagon and I’m a later adopter to pretty much everything. I’m one of these weirdos that finds virtue in doing exactly the opposite to what everyone else is doing. So to that end, I give you the above picture. It’s WAY over 10 years old. In fact, it’s more like 40 years ago. I’m not really sure how old I am – two, maybe three, but I am large and in charge with my sunglasses. Suck it Edna Mode. I wore it first.
Y’all know I occasionally do favorite things and recommendations – usually for books and movies. Today, I’m doing something new. I’m recommending a podcast. I love podcasts. They are great for long commutes and when slugging away on the treadmill or trails. I wish I could take credit and say I discovered this one on my own. It was actually rec’ed to me by a dear friend. The podcast is called Believed. You can find it at michiganradio.org/believed and on the NPR One app, Pocket Casts, Apple Podcasts, and wherever podcasts are available.
I feel I should give you a warning. This is not a feel-good podcast. It’s about the Olympic Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar and the sexual assault cases brought against him nearly a year ago. I know many of you will shake your head ‘no’ at this discovery and say “no way” but please hear me out. I know many of us are weary about the whole sexual assault ‘Me Too’ movement. I don’t think this podcast is riding the movements’ coattails. as this case exploded before that movement. For me, the take away for this podcast is to remember sexual assault/harassment can happen anywhere and to anyone and in situations where trust is just a given.
This podcast was a real wake up for me. Even with the “Me Too” movement, we as women tend to forget or bury things even though we’ve all endured something. It might have been something as benign as a creepy teacher that liked to leer at girls with large chests (Yep, that was my school.). Or, it could be something more serious like a hansy boss or a date that ended in rape. We need podcasts like this one to remind us these predatory people will stop at nothing to get what they want. There are many clowns out there, like Larry Nassar, that have been pulling crap for years and never get caught. They have perfected the cover-up. They are super slick and hard to catch. As a parent of a young girl, it was a reminder that even the most trusted adults can be wolves sheep’s clothing. Just because someone holds a position of trust does not mean they are trustworthy. I urge any parent to listen to this, especially parents of young girls who have close relationships with other adults.
If you look hard enough and keep an open mind, you’ll find the Universe/God/Whatever you call it will periodically give you a gift. That gift can be something motivational or an actual tangible gift. Today’s gift from the Universe was my shopping trip to Walmart. I know, I know, it seems so unlikely. I mean come on Walmart? Yes, Walmart. The things I witnessed there today was the spark of inspiration I needed for this week’s blog.
As I entered the store my ears were accosted by Blake Shelton singing Christmas carols as well as a big ole sign reading 42 days until Christmas. We haven’t even eaten the bird yet folks! Can we just cool our tits? I get it; you need to have the place decorated for Black Friday. Okay, fine, but at least hold off on Blake Shelton singing I’ll be Home for Christmas until you open for Black Friday. So, I get by that sign without having a panic attack and I see the seasonal section. It’s pretty much just toys and front and center is the monstrosity I have pictured here. What is up Hasbro and Goliath games that you have to make games about dog shit, exploding pigs and boogers in noses?! When my kids asked for the Doggy Doo game a couple of years ago I genuinely gave them two Walmart bags and a pair of rubber gloves. Our dog makes plenty of turds they can go pick up. And, if they sing Spoon Full of Sugar like Mary Poppins it will be a game. Ironically, this particular game was already marked down to 12.98 from 19.99. Walmart already knows they will be shipping the majority of this crap back to Hasbro or putting it on the clearance aisle once Christmas is over.
After that ridicululousness, I began to get the items I came for. I need work out leggings but cannot find any that don’t have weird lace/mesh panels. No one wants to see 40 year old cellulite in Zumba people. Just like Target, Walmart failed me on this front. But, I was ecstatic to find Bluebell Ice Cream brought back the Christmas Cookie flavor. I didn’t get any last year because Bluebell’s production team didn’t bring their A game and failed to produce enough so stores were sold out in like two weeks.
Then I find this little gem in the soup aisle. A lady caught me taking this picture and walked right up to me to inspect the situation. I looked her right in the eye and said, “Cream of Bacon sounds weird but I swear it’s also the most fabulous thing I’ve seen all day.” She proceeded to legit laugh out loud, told me I made her day and grabbed a can. Well, I guess I did my good deed for the day.
Next, I’m getting a pie crust because really who makes their own when I find these festive treats. Now, I’m about to get controversial. I hate Buddy the Elf with every fiber of my being. I seriously want to throat punch him. He’s annoying. But, I know loads of people just think he’s the most adorable thing on the planet. And, I totally turn into Buddy the Elf my own self when anyone mentions Disney parks so I guess I need to cut Buddy some slack. I was like okay gotta take picture of these suckers cause everyone I know, except me, will want these cookies.
Finally, I get to the checkout. I expect to find one or two lanes open but no there’s like 8. Again, another gift from the Universe or maybe just a Thanksgiving miracle. And, then it happens, the obligatory person in pajama pants and house slippers schleps up behind me in line. I swear my trip felt complete.
I’m writing this post while standing in line waiting to vote because inspiration struck. I am absolutely astounded at the number of people at the polls for early voting. You’d think this was another presidential election. It’s insane. There must be at least 75 people in this line and it’s not even lunchtime. The next bit of inspiration comes from the people waiting in line with me. If there’s one thing I love to do in a crowd like this it’s people watch and eavesdrop.
I adore eavesdropping. I’m pretty sure this passion started in my formative years being raised in a household full of adults and no other children. I was forever being told to “hush, the adults are talking” and “children are seen and not heard”. The only other thing to do when you can’t get a word in edgewise is to listen or watch the paint peel. The former is a lot more fun than the later. It’s interesting to hear what others have to say especially when they think no one is listening. I ALWAYS listen and there is plenty to be heard.
The biggest offenders are millennial aged women and old people. The next runners up are mothers of young children and middle aged men. Those last two groups love to have conversations on the phone while standing in line or walking around the store. I have actually heard one middle aged dude make some hanky panky plans for later while in the shampoo aisle at Target. Nothing every shocks me but I’m always a little amazed at the types of conversations people will have in public. I can’t quite understand their reasoning. Do they think that just because they aren’t near someone they know that it’s safe to talk about all manner of personal issues like the neighbor’s cancer, your child’s bout with lice or your ailing parents’ incontinence issues?
I keep thinking to myself one day just for kicks I will call someone out for the very loud, personal conversation they are having in public. But, doesn’t that make me just as guilty for listening? Ultimately I just keep my mouth shut. I have to hand it to some of these people, they sure do provide a lot of inspiration for this blog and serve as a catalyst for thinking. Maybe these dirty laundry airing folk are a gift from the universe. The universe’s way of saying, “I know your life is shit but at least it’s not that bad. Listen to what those people are saying about that poor sap.” I think I’ll just count my blessings.
P.S. – If anyone is interested, today’s offenders were a couple of old ladies. They were talking about all their friend’s ailments in great detail. Dementia, hemorrhoids and heart disease. You can’t make this stuff up people.
P.P.S. – If the government needs more people to listen in to conversations, I’m your girl. Just call me Alexa or Siri. I’ll even respond to Hey Google.