Monthly Archives: May 2017

Bananas: the One, True Threat

evil_bananaI can’t verify this, but if things continue as they are, I may be driven to the point that I have the opportunity to find out first-hand. But, I’m pretty sure that the road to Hell is trimmed in banana plants, those big, floppy-leafed scourges of the yard. The only thing that could possibly make banana plants more hatefully heinous would be cross-breeding them with poison oak. At which point, we need to tap out and surrender the planet because we’ve lost the war on agri-terrorism.

If you’re considering planting one of these pests in your yard, just go home because you’re drunk. You’d be better off – and definitely happier in the long run – if you simply backed up a cement truck and paved over your entire property. Although, this may be the only way to get rid of the chlorophyll creatures from the pits of someplace unspeakable once you’ve got them.

Despite my homeowners association frowning on such thing, I’m talking napalm, flame-throwers, small nuclear devices detonated from a safe distance across the street. Voodoo and practitioners of the dark arts are also not off the table in my battle against the bananas. Here’s the problem: you can hack them to the roots, dig them out and salt the earth and they’ll still find a way to come back. They’re vegetational herpes. This is truly the price we’ve paid for the whole mishap in the Garden of Eden: God said, “Get out and go live in shame with the banana plants.”

So after two long, bloody years of hand-to-leaf combat, I finally felt I had eradicated the green plague. Then as I’m licking my wounds and trying to recover from the resulting PTSD, the banana plant in my neighbor’s yard has sent up a scout on my side of the fence. Naturally, I’m triggered. The machete has long since been put in a locked location to keep me from hurting myself or others (like my neighbor who obviously shops in the garden center at ISIS Depot).

Unless your family name is Dole and you live in a jungle in Nicaragua, there’s no reason to have banana plants. Propagating this problem should be considered a crime against all humanity and punished accordingly. For the sake of all that’s holy, If you want a banana, go to Kroger.

(Tip of the hat to Mabination for the graphic)

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And Then There Were None

Jean___Thomas2Mom and Tom2In just a few days, my tenure as a grade-school parent ends. Despite those times when we just weren’t sure if it would really happen, my youngest son will graduate from high school – We hope. Although, there is still time. Not until I actually hear his name called and the diploma put in his hand, will I breathe. That’s the same time his counselor will stop eating Valium like LifeSavers, the principal will stop considering a career change, and his first period teacher will look up and think, “Oh! That’s who that kid is. His face isn’t familiar.”

I’ve always said he is the child my parents wished upon me. This is the kid that would have qualified us for the elite Navy Seals special ops supreme command of Parenthood if such a thing existed. He has made us battle ready for any level of mischief, mishap, or outrageous improbability. While they say it takes a village to raise a child, I disagree. In this case, it takes a village, a fully functioning medical/surgical facility, an offshore bank, several high level negotiators, a contact at the United Nations, a building permit, and friends with “connections.”

Then just about the time I think I’m on the top of my parenthood game, he’s leaving. He never listened when I told him to clean the bathroom, wash denim separately, or mow the lawn. But when I told him to dream big and chase after it, he listened to that! I pushed him to take harder classes and do his homework on time. Of course, he never did that. But when I push him to be independent, smart and self-sufficient, he’s all over it. What the heck?!

So it seems I have worked myself out of a job — a job with rotten pay, long hours and amazing benefits. It’s a job I have loved more than anything else and one I must have done right. The last little bird in the nest is spreading huge, strong, powerful wings that will let him soar to places beyond what either of us could have dreamed.

And just as he did when he marched off to Kindergarten, he’s not looking back. If he did, he’d see the endless pride on my face and my heart in my hands. He’s going to be great! And I’ll be okay, too.

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World Naked Gardening Day

WNGDWorld Naked Gardening Day is the first Saturday in May. So, gosh darn it, we’ve missed it. I’m guessing, though, this is a bigger celebration in areas that don’t have mounds of fire ants. As someone who has had a miserable tangle with poison oak after pulling weeds in my flowerbed while fully clothed, I’m not sure I grasp how this is a good idea. Thank goodness, World Naked Gardening Day has a website (www.wngd.org) to answer that and so many other questions!

Don’t go to this website, however, unless you are prepared to be exposed to naked gardening. Unfortunately, no one warned me in advance. I admit I initially had trouble absorbing their information because I kept thinking: How are these people not getting seriously sunburned?!

While their website does explain why you should garden naked, more importantly, they tell you how! “Find an opportunity to get naked.” Okay, that seems a bit obvious, but then you can naked garden with your friends, family, even your gardening club. Whoa Nelly! I’m not sure what the demographics are of your gardening club, but I’m nearly positive I could kiss goodbye any chance I had at “Yard of the Month” if I showed up naked to the next meeting of my club.

They also suggest you “Do it inside your house, in your backyard, on a hiking trail, at a city park, or on the streets.” Really?! In Texas? Now I see how I win “Yard of the Month.” We’re talking about a prison yard! I hope, too, they didn’t mean Estes Park in Colorado when they said park, because there was two and a half inches of snow that Saturday which gives a whole new perspective to freezing your buns off!

Celebrate World Naked Gardening Day next year on May 5, 2018. Maybe start slow by just watering your houseplants in your underwear. The website does suggest when you naked garden, be sure to “tell someone about your experience… email it to your local newspaper.” Yeah, do that. I double dog dare you to do that! Include your address and phone number, so the local newspaper can send out a photographer (to take your mug shot for the local police department!).

Seriously, if you garden naked, garden smart. Wear sunscreen. Avoid poison oak. That’s all I have to say on that. 

(Photo credit: #wngd)    

 

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I Toed You So!

IMG_1483After several weeks of back packing through France, my feet were beat. Therefore, the first thing on the agenda after clearing US Customs was to kick off the trekking shoes and get a pedicure. The fact that I could pull a fish out of a lake with these toes was likely the prime indicator my feet had gotten out of hand!

I had seen several places during our travels that advertised French manicures. What the heck?! I’m in France! What other kind of manicure was I going to get? Therefore, I immediately didn’t trust them. This was obviously a sketchy front for the sex slave trade, and you know there’s probably a big market for middle-aged white moms with bunions. People do strange things in France plus the whole ISIS presence, so you can’t be too careful. Just one more reason to go another day without changing my socks because my miserable neglect of my feet was probably all that was keeping me safe.

Back home, I’m in one of those pedicure chairs with the creepy “massage” function — the one that always make me feel like I’m on a bad buckboard ride in a horrible Wild West theme park. Anyway, I notice the woman next to me. She must be about to leave for France because she’s having her toenails painted this weird Kermit the Frog shade of green. She must think if her feet resemble a poisonous snake, she’ll be safer. I’m not saying she’s wrong.

Meanwhile, to punish me for my neglect, my pedicure girl has stuck my feet into pans of boiling hot wax. I can only imagine this is how Hans Solo felt in that Star Wars episode where he’s trapped in molten lead. Like Hans, I also know that resistance is futile. Nothing to do but suck it up and hope she didn’t get that cheese grater tool thing out again. I understand the calluses were bad, but surely there are laws to protect me from that thing.

I’m happy to say I survived the ordeal, paid my bill, and tip the pedicure girl enough that next time I come in she wont be triggered  all over again. Then on the way out, I stop to throw away those little pieces of foam they stick between your toes, except I didn’t have my glasses on and I was in a hurry to escape the den of pedi-torture. Unfortunately, I was already out the door when I realized I’d “thrown them away” in some lady’s big purse. Alright, so now you don’t wonder why I find it easier to just wear socks!

(Note: Those are not my toes in the photo. I picked out a nice pink color, thank you. Those are the toad-colored toes next to me.)

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Cell Hell

ATT-Fire-ROHDear Cell Service Provider Which Will Not Be Named Because I Don’t Want To Be Sued: thank you for teaching me some important things about myself that I didn’t know before I spent nearly two hours in your store. Not since I tried to get worked in for an appointment at the doctor’s office during the height of cold/flu/plague/Ebola season have I had so much fun wasting what’s left of my life. I admit that I have been remiss in upgrading my phone, but, you understand, I would rather continue to shovel coal into the back of mine to keep it going than face your store. Only the unfortunate — though not unexpected — demise of my phone forced me to darken your doorstep.

The experience, however, taught me that I have the uncanny ability to suppress my dignity and nap on your floor by the front door. Shamelessly.  I needed that nap because I have worn myself out glaring at salespeople who aren’t helping me. Pulling together a really effective Evil Eye requires a lot of energy, after all. Otherwise you end up with a Not Nice Eye which just does not have the same impact. Real evil requires real effort. But why am I telling you that, dear cell service provider, as I believe you may be the actual creator of evil. (And if it’s not you, I’m thinking it might be my health insurance company. You’re probably working together, right?)

During my time in your store, I’d like to say what a joy it was to interact with your employees, except that would be a lie. While I accept that I’m on the express bus to Hell for a lot of reasons, lying isn’t one of them. Okay, maybe not the main one. Regardless, I do have to applaud your ability to find, recruit, hire and train people who can function without conscious thought, logic, or basic positive personality traits. Of course, Texas is a Right to Work state, so, yes, even zombies need jobs. Good on you for hiring all of them. I’m interested to know what the company picnic looks like, but, no, I don’t really. Forget I said that part.

What I do want to say is: “Thanks!” and I love my new phone that costs more than my son’s first year at a major university. I love that I’ll be reminded of this experience every month for the next 36 months when my newly increased bill arrives. It’ll be like paying child support for my phone. Oh, and I hate you.

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