Monday, September 1, 2014

It's a Back-to-School Fashion Show!

Do you remember when the first day of school was after Labor Day?   That was before all the testing had to be done before Christmas break....or before they stopped calling it Christmas break and changed it to the politically correct Winter break.

It was also apparently before the fashion rules of no wearing white shoes after Labor Day too....

This is me and my snappy-dresser brother in the hey-day of the Brady Bunch fashions--circa 1972.  That would place me in the 4th grade, my brother in 5th. 

Dang...look at my gold knee socks....the over-the-top bows on my collar and ponytails and my plaid no-I-don't-go-to-Catholic-school skirt.  Wowee.

Does my brother have a notepad in his front pocket?  Maybe he's got notes on how to slay the ladies with those bi-color pants there.  Not quite sure how the shirt fits in with those pants....but he certainly was proud of that ensemble.

What were we thinking?  Ugh.

I laugh when I see all the back-to-school photos on Facebook these days.  We didn't hold up signs telling anyone how old we were--we just developed the film from the camera and the date was stamped on the side.  Of course, if you waited a really long time to get the film developed, your dates were sorta off, but you could figure it out with a little math.  That's what you call "old school."

Either way...we were so proud of those first day fashions. I suppose the kids are like that now too, right? 

Okay....let's get the Duck and Wheel rockin'....

I've been sorta snarky lately (it has been pointed out to me in a private email...), so I'm gonna mix it up with a Fashion Show.  A Back-to-School Fashion Show.  It's sorta like Miss America...but with kids....and outdated fashions.

Email me your best back-to-school photo and we'll have a contest to see who works their First Day Back fashions the best.

C' know you have 'em!  Yes, we will vote to pick the best.  And no, your mother cannot vote for you.

Get them to me by Friday and we'll have a go...

Friday, August 29, 2014

So where do they get the cardboard? And the black marker?

It's weird--I am inundated with beggars on my commute to work.  It's just one particular area, really...not my entire drive. It is a congested area where folks sit through a few lights at a time, so I'm guessing the beggars take advantage of the traffic and do whatever they do to make the coin.

There is Stumpy--the guy with his left arm cut off just below his elbow.  And that's his claim to fame--he has a stump.  It's hilarious to see him roll his winter jacket up so we can all see his stump in sub-zero weather.  He can hold his cash can with that arm, so I'm wondering why he thinks we need to give him money.  Maybe to buy a new hand? Or a sock to put over his stump in cold weather? 

There is the Guy Who Limps.  He doesn't seem that old--maybe 40's?  And there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with him, but if he remembers, he limps a little.  I laugh when he walks past the dude selling newspapers in the traffic.  Why can't he limp AND sell newspapers?  I'm always confused by that.

There are a few young people, including one with a dog (THAT drives me nuts), that look like my kids...except they are just walking up and down the traffic with a sad look on their faces and wanting folks to support them.  They are clean, wearing decent clothes....but they beg. 

Then there are the black kids that pound on white buckets.  They pound the crap outta the buckets--no rhythm, no skill, no talent---just pounding.  They they hold the buckets up for you to give them money.  Like they deserve something for that bad pounding. Ugh.

What makes me laugh is that they all have one thing in common--the square of cardboard in which they write their plea for money.  Why do they all have a square of cardboard? Is this the business card of bums?  Why do all their signs look exactly alike--including the "God Bless" at the end of their plea? At least make your cardboard look original. Sheesh.

I never give any of these folks money...but apparently somebody does or why else would they be there every single day?  I always wonder who is dumb enough to encourage this behavior.  Maybe they are people who don't realize that these idiots do this every. single. day. They aren't down on their luck--hell, I'm guessing they are making a decent living doing this.

And while the rest of the folks in their cars act like they are fiddling with their radios so they don't look them in the eye--I look right at them.  No hiding, no shame.  I want to yell "Get a JOB!"...but I don't.  But I'm thinking it.

Maybe I can hold up a response piece of cardboard that reads just that. I'd be speaking their language.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In case you were wondering...

Thank goodness the parking lot cats don't recognize the new car.  I can pull into work on most days and they don't come running anymore.  I've had to quit feeding them so that they are not attracted to our office space--the other feeder has moved them away from the offices and it seems to be working.

That said, there have been some sightings of new kitties coming around.  There is a beautiful Siamese and a lovely calico that is white, cream and black.  But while they are pretty, this also means more work for Claudia, my feeding partner.  She now has to TNR all these newcomers.

Things have sort of died down in regards to threats towards this colony.  I think the work that was being done on the parking lot drew the head honchos to our office and this, in turn, drew attention to the fact that there are cats living there.  The parking lot has since been paved and tarred and the head honcho went back to...I dunno...where head honchos go.  The cats are safe for now.

I contacted Claudia this week to bring her cat food for the new feeding place. The less I know about it, the better.  But, I can still help them by providing dry food, canned food and some litter for those freshly TNR'ed.   I was doing these kitties more harm by feeding them myself, and so I had to disconnect from that part of their care.

I talked to Claudia a bit today and found out that she is alone in taking care of this area.  She pays for food and TNR out of her own pocket.  She is not affiliated with any group and just goes about her business making sure the kitties in her area are TNR'ed.

She told me she was alone.  I told her "not anymore."  We are a team, Claudia and I.  I don't know what else I can do to help her, but for now, I am dropping off food, water dishes and litter to help her with the cost of helping the kitties. 

Claudia is really something--quietly going about her business and making this good green Earth a better place.  I am lucky to have found her.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Warding off the riff-raff

Fake heron--keeping the yard pterodactyl free for years now. Funny how a goofy-lookin' plastic bird can foil the best of 'em and keep the riff-raff at bay.    The cat...not so much.

Between that and the electric fence, the pond dwellers are safe. 

We talked to a local pet shop owner and he says that more and more people are coming in looking for electric fences.  Apparently they are big for controlling chipmunks too.  Who knew? 

I imagine folks on their hands and knees, installing a teeny tiny electric fence, really low to the ground--but I'm not laughing.

Not when I've got a big plastic bird guarding my pond.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The beauty of seasons

Joe and I worked out in the yard yesterday, cleaning up after a week of soggy days.  It was hot as hell and humid as all get out, but it had to be done.  But I like working in the yard and the gardens--it is good to get your hands dirty every so often.  And we haven't had many nice days this summer to work out in the yard.

The flowers are starting to look a little leggy and icky.  Plants are tired and the tomato plant is starting to yellow.  Even the bugs know it is time to start packing it in....the katydids are clicking their sad summer song of farewell, the bees are all over the last of  the flowers and  the frogs are fattening up on all of them.   Plus the darkness is starting to appear earlier and earlier--have you noticed? 

Bummer.  I sorta hate to see the summer go--especially after this past year's winter. It seemed to last extra-long and this summer was spent just trying to recover...and warm up. 

I'm not gonna miss Mean Old Man, though. Nope.  He's been out in his garage drilling and zzzzz-ing and buzzing and pounding on metal ALL summer.  Not that anything productive comes out of that garage---I think he just does that stuff to annoy the neighborhood.  With all that noise each day, you'd expect an ark to be rolling out one day soon.  But, no.

That is the one perk of cold Mean Old Man. 

Okay...I'm ready for that.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Joe Bob Duggar

We were all cleaning house and being silly when Joe started getting on my nerves.  He wasn't understanding what I was telling him, so I began talking to him slowly and deliberately so he'd understand.   Em was standing there and laughing. "Mom, you are talking like Michelle Duggar,"she said.

I can't stand that Michelle Duggar. She's the I-have-49-kids-but-I'm-still-gonna-have-some-more-even-though-my-uterus-is-dragging-on-the-ground lady.  Ugh. And she talks like a simpleton. Her voice drives me crazy.

So, I decide that I'm gonna call Joe "Joe Bob" because everybody has a "J" name in that family and the dad has "Bob" at the end of his first name.

I'm laughing so hard that it comes out wrong and I mix up the first letters of "Joe Bob" ....and I call him "Blow Job" instead.   Nice, eh.  Ugh.

Yeah, we aren't really Duggar-like here.  

We are a lot less Sparkley today

We lost our long-time blogging friend yesterday---Sparkle wasn't feeling well and passed away.  We are all very sad to hear of the news, especially for Janiss, her mom. 

Please keep them in your prayers's very hard to lose an animal friend.