fun

Kindness and Consideration

One of my biggest issues with “people these days” is that so many think they are beyond rules. Beyond obeying signs in traffic that say “Merge left one mile” and instead wait until they can’t go further and try to cut in front of someone who got over when they were supposed to. People who clearly see everyone doing one thing and think they are the special snowflake that doesn’t have to follow the rules.

Leaving the Levitt Shell Sunday, my son said he needed to use the bathroom. My sister-in-law said her son did, too, but she hoped the line wasn’t long. We walk back to the bathrooms (not porta potties – nice permanent bathrooms, 2 for women on one side of a small building and 2 for men on the other side) and there is only one woman waiting in line.

“Oh that’s not bad,” my sister-in-law said, and we get in line behind the one woman with our two children, and another friend behind us.

The one woman goes into the bathroom. A woman gets in line behind us. Another woman walks up to the grassy space between the two bathroom doors. Immediately I know she’s cutting in line because, let’s be honest – I always think the worst of people. By now there are two girls and their boyfriends in line behind the woman who came up behind our small group.

The other bathroom doors opens and the woman standing in the grassy spot walks towards it as I loudly tell my son “Go on in that… Oh, ok nevermind, we will keep waiting IN LINE.”

The woman gave me the stink eye, starting closing the door, and then opened it back up. “I’ve been waiting to go FOREVER,” she says snidely.

“When we walked up there was ONE WOMAN IN LINE and she just went in that one,” I pointed.

“You’re REALLY going to start this in front of your kid?” she scoffed.

I was baffled. “Start this”? Standing up for ourselves? Was she trying to mom-shame me? Excuse me, but – Bitch, please. “YES, I am,” I said, “Because he knows it’s right to wait for your turn and I don’t want people walking all over him his whole life.”

My five-year-old nephew even loudly said “Yeah, that’s skipping!”

She didn’t comment but I hope she heard it all before going into that bathroom.

I seriously had at LEAST 2 grown witnesses and 2 children witnesses – I’m not sure what the woman who got into line behind us saw. But I was just… flabbergasted. She clearly WAS NOT waiting in line when we got in line. If she had been “waiting to go FOREVER” she must have been holding it during the concert and that’s her own fault. But she was NOT in line, or even anywhere near the bathrooms when my small group approached.

There is also clearly a place for a line. We went to a show Friday night to and used the bathrooms twice and there is just a natural place for the line to form next to the railing.

But besides all that… You are really going to skip ahead of two children (WHO WERE WAITING IN LINE) who need to pee? Maybe she thought they would be messy and us parents wouldn’t clean up after them, but that’s a stretch. She was clearly only thinking of herself. I really try to not judge people on looks but she was young, blond, decked out in athletic gear, and clearly was used to getting her way, uncontested. That’s why as soon as she walked up, I was like “Yup, I know what’s happening here.”

I don’t like when people cut in front of me in traffic when signs gave you a mile to merge. And I don’t like you skipping in line in front of my son and nephew who need to pee just because you’re entitled and are used to getting your way. I speak up about stuff like that, and YES I do it in front of my kid because I don’t want HIM to be that jerk that cuts in front of people. I want him to follow the rules BUT ALSO call out those who don’t. Because they are the ones messing up the flow.

I know everyone has their own problems, but… if you’re out in public, please just follow the rules and be a decent person so everyone else can have a decent day. In this case, if she came running up and whispered that she was on her period or even “I drank 12 beers and really need to pee!” I would have ushered her in front of us with no qualms. But walking up and being ENTITLED to it is what pisses me off, and then trying to MOM-SHAME me about “starting this” in front of my kid makes my blood boil.

The only thing that gives me peace of mind about this is that she clearly doesn’t have any kids… yet. I can only hope that once she does, she’ll have learned a lesson or two and will raise them to be decent human beings, instead of being raised to be a replica of her. We don’t need anymore people like that. Be kind, show compassion, follow the rules… be decent.

 

fun, home life

Underneath

Writing 26 blog posts has been hard. Blogging used to be easy for me; I typically wrote 12 posts a month, which is way less than 26, but way more than… what have I been averaging lately… 2? That might be a little generous.

It’s interesting, though. I like pushing myself to write every day, and to write on a topic, however loose that topic may be. I journal 3 pages every morning, but this is different. I feel like I’m getting back to my old blogging self, which might also sound weird… I feel like most people don’t think blogging is hard, or something that takes merit or talent. But I feel like it does, if you’re really doing it. Don’t get me started on “big” bloggers with sponsored posts all over the place. But blogging like how it actually started way back when? That’s fun. And I think it takes drive and talent to do it and keep at it and engage readers.

But it’s been so different than what my writing and creative life have been for the past four years. So I have been trying to write ahead a bit, and take a break. Like my Reading post. Or breathing with Spring.

underneath2

And now. With playing underneath a homemade tent with my son. The killer klowns are after us, but we can shoot them with his fart blaster and they go away. So I’m off to help fight the good fight.

(And yes, we had to anchor them to the drawers with underpants. Another U!)

fun, home life, money, shopping

Tax Refund!

Before we even did our taxes, my husband asked what I wanted to spend our tax refund on. He wanted a new grill, and probably some other things. I, of course, wanted to put it into savings. And probably still will. But it made me daydream about…

An upgraded camera body

A macro lens

A home studio setup

New books to read

A trip to somewhere relax

A camping trip

New tattoos

A fancy, delicious dinner out

A fun evening bowling, snacking, drinking, eating

 

Did you get a tax refund this year?

fun, home life, natural living

Spring

Talk about going green! Spring has always been my favorite season because it’s full of possibility. You don’t have to bundle up (usually… this spring has been a bit wacky), school is almost out, you have spring break, the daylight stretches out past eight o’clock, the summer is ahead, it’s beautiful outside, you can open the windows and let the fresh air in while you gaze out at the green grass and blooming trees.

This year especially, spring feels so full of possibility. I have been through a hard year or two or three or four of trying to figure out what I want to do, how I can do it, how it could fit in with a “real” job… or not. I have tried 3 different jobs in the past two years and thought they were perfect when I started them. But they weren’t.

So here I am. I know what I love and what I am passionate about, and I am determined to make these things work together (and they do) to make a career for myself. It might not be a “set” career like society may think, and it may end up being several jobs cobbled together, but I see it. I see the end product. I’m breaking it into steps and working toward each one to make this actually happen and be substantial and not fall the second I stop to catch my breath.

Spring is also great for my creativity. The air, the blooms, I want to be out in it and take photos of it all and then just sit back and take a deep breath.

That’s it. I seriously just realized it. That is exactly why I love spring – the possibilities, the inspiration, the excitement, but also the invitation to sit back and relax and soak it all in and breathe.

home life, money, natural living, working

Questions

I’ve been interested in zero waste, minimalism, and more along those lines since 2010. I’ve been interested in recycling and reusing since childhood, when I made dollhouse furniture out of toothpaste tube lids and toilet paper rolls. I have a long history in this category, but I still have a lot of questions.

Sometimes I don’t realize I have a question until I read something written by someone else. The bloggers I listed in my Inspiration post are especially good at this – they have different experiences within the field, so I will read something and want to know more because of what they’ve said, even if it is a topic I never thought about on my own.

Sometimes I have questions because of how I’m changing my own life. I’m working from home and now my son attends a preschool just a few minutes away. How much money am I saving versus how much I was earning and spending before? How much gas am I saving? How much less pollution am I producing? Does it make a difference that taking him is more stop and go on side streets instead of speeding down the highway?

How much money am I saving buying everything online? How much pollution am I creating by having things delivered to my door instead of driving to get them myself?

What toothbrush is best for my teeth? What toothbrush is best for the environment? What kind of packaging does this product come in? Is the product worth it to me, or would I rather buy a different brand that uses recyclable materials?

What will grow in my garden? Is it worth the time and work put into a garden for what we reap from it? Will I grow more produce if I plant it over there? Or there?

What do I need versus what do I want? What will make me happy versus what will be the best for everyone, for the Earth, for the environment? What am I supposed to do with my life?

You know, just your typical, everyday questions.

fun, home life, money, natural living, school

Nature

Nature is beautiful. And interesting. And so much fun to explore.

And, it’s FREE.

There is nothing better than to take your restless kids outside and see what they do.

My son loves to be outside. He will run around in the yard. He will ask to go on walks. He will swing on our porch swing. He will hop up and down the steps. He will blow dandelion fluff. He will pick up rocks. He will dig in the dirt. He will ask to plant flowers. He will pick flowers and present them to me: “I found something beautiful for ya.” (He will melt my heart.)

I am lucky that my kid is full of imagination. He will go outside with nothing and be playing in no time. He will amuse himself, which is great because I love being outside too. But when I’m outside, I’m usually doing something. I am taking care of the yard or the garden. I am hanging clothes on the clothesline.

Or I am taking pictures.

Nature photography is probably my favorite, right up there with portraits. I love capturing people’s personalities in portraits, but I also believe it’s possible to capture nature’s personalities, too. I submitted some daffodil photos (not the one above) to a competition and laughed when I saw one of the categories was “Portraits”, but it makes sense…

I love being outside. I love being outside with my kid. I love taking a break from those chores I mentioned, and putting my camera down, and taking a deep breath of fresh air, and appreciating nature.

fun, money, reading, school, working

Library Love

(Double letter score!)

If you know me at all, you know I love libraries. I have always wanted to be a librarian. I have always loved to check books out from the library. I’ve had a library card as long as I can remember, and it’s usually maxed out (25 books at a time is not enough!).

Libraries are awesome because they are becoming community centers. You can go and get books for free. Most libraries offer ebooks for free, and you don’t even have to go to the library! I can’t count how many times I have finished a library book at 9p, gotten frustrated about what to read next, then reached for my Kindle to check out an ebook and start reading it immediately. Plus – if you want a book and the library doesn’t have it, they’ll often order it on your suggestion!

Libraries have movies and music for rent – often free, sometimes not, depending on your system. A lot of libraries are eliminating fines, because accruing fines prevents a lot of people, especially poor people who need the library, from coming back.

Libraries have events and programs. I was a Teen Services Librarian and loved planning programs with the teens to get them into the library after school and just have fun with them and connect with them. I’ve gone to a lot of library programs and events, ranging from learning new things to hearing a speaker or an author.

Our Central library has an awesome CLOUD 901 center for teens, and a lot of larger libraries are offering media centers like this. Even rural libraries are offering diverse programs (I wrote a STEM curriculum for special ed high school students to be held at a public rural library).

If you don’t visit your local library or know much about it, check it out online and in person and see what it has to offer.