M is for Mornings

I don’t do mornings. I never have.  My father would pick me up from my bed and carry me to the breakfast table. My eyes would pop open to a plate of soft-boiled eggs, toast, and bacon. My siblings and parents would be engaged in animated conversations while silverware clanged away. The noise level was irritating, as I sat in silence anxiously waiting for the time when my father would go off to work and I could leave the table.  I was often the recipient of endless teasing; I have since learned this morning ritual was passed down from generation to generation. Attack the least awake person.

I survived, but have since learned that there really is a difference between being a morning or night person. Fortunately, this has nothing to do with the actual time you wake up, but rather what you can and can not tolerate at different times throughout your day.  Eating for example. I can not tolerate solid food within a few hours of waking up. Didn’t matter if I was working the night shift and woke up at 3pm, or the early shift and woke at 5am. Conversation is also distasteful first thing in the morning. Give me 30 or so minutes to wake up before expecting me to communicate verbally.

My daughter is also a night person and has been since the day she was born. Mornings became challenging when she started school. She didn’t eat in the morning, so we would walk to the bus stop, me begging her to take one more sip of a protein shake. I felt like the worse mom ever. More times than I can count, her lunch was packed with cereal.

Late in the day,  I’m literally a different person. I’m a creative, sharp-witted, let’s go do something gal. So, I save my afternoons for stuff I like to do and spend my mornings doing the mundane day-to-day chores I find so painful. Hey, if it works, why not?

I often wish that some professionals would adapt to their personal clocks. How nice would it be to have  medical practices that were open from 3pm-11pm. Even lawyers and accountants could jump in and cater to the owls of the world. The morning people wouldn’t even get an appointment cause they make all their business calls before noon. It would be an entire economy dedicated to night people and those that work the night shift.

The important thing is to know which side of the clock you live on. I also suggest being respectful of those who differ from you. Seriously, when talking to a night person, it is best to use your inside quiet voice until given a cue to do otherwise.

I have absolutely no advice for dealing with morning people.

 

 

 

 

L is for Luck

What is luck? Being in the right place at the right time? Having all the stars lined up?

For that matter, what is unlucky? Murphy’s law?

Sometimes, to quote a baby’s bib, “Poop Happens!”

Is it bad luck that you married the wrong person? Probably not. You just need to examine your decision-making process. Getting an infection after surgery? Again, probably not, the environment wasn’t as sterile as it should have been or your after care was lacking. Getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery are both based on odds, not luck. Rolling sevens in a craps game, again, odds. Some may even call it fate.

We use the phrase lucky to describe someone who has, well basically what we think is a good life. Family, friends, home, job, etc. It’s not really luck and unless you live in their shoes, you don’t actually know what they had to overcome to get where they are and if you did know, you’d probably not want to go where they’d been.

So, let’s stop counting on luck or even wishing to be lucky. It will not pay the bills, find you the perfect mate or cure what ails you.

But you can bet, I’m not counting on Karma either.

K is for Karma

Definition of karma found via Google:
  1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

     

In layman’s terms, “What goes around, comes around.” I’ve seen this happen and will admit there are times when it makes me smile.  I was driving between 2 cities on a major interstate one night last week.  All of sudden I was passed by a car, you know the kind of pass you feel cause they are going so fast. Naturally, my eyes followed the car as it weaved in and out of traffic. Seconds later it happened again. Another car, zooming down the highway, coming out of nowhere. Then I saw that it was a police car. Yep. Instant Karma.

Another way to look at this is; good things happen to good people. But if that’s the order of the universe, doesn’t it imply that bad things happen to bad people. This then gets turned around. If something bad happens, I must be bad. Parents facing divorce are quick to tell their children, “this has nothing to do with you.” If it doesn’t, why bring it up?

I’d prefer to think that life is just random. Loved ones die, babies are born, successes and failures happen and believe it or not, they happen to EVERYONE! We all experience the good and the bad. This doesn’t mean that we are ourselves good or bad.

When you hear of a child with a life threatening disease, do you jump to the conclusion that they were bad?  Like didn’t eat their vegetables or hit a sibling bad? Seriously, how bad can a kid get? And how do you explain the mean girl, you know the bully who shunned others, winning the homecoming crown? Or the co-worker who gets a promotion; the same one who played video games doubling your workload?

I just can’t wrap my mind it. Why am I being held responsible for my actions in a previous life? What if I was a lion? I had to kill to eat. What’s the payback for that?

 

 

J is for Javelina [hah-vuh-lee-nuh]

 

Javelina are animals found in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, throughout Mexico and as far south as Argentina. They are also known as a Collard Peccary and are often mistakenly refered to as wild pigs.  They are not pigs; although they do resemble a wild boar. Their eyesight is not great, but they will charge when threatened or protecting their young and they travel in groups/packs. That’s the basics, if you want to learn more about them, I suggest this Javelina Fact Sheet from the Arizona Desert Museum. I could quote a dozen articles, but I thought I would share some personal experiences.

They smell and not in a good way. There is a pungent odor that distinctly says “Hey, javelina in the area.” It’s not a gaggy kinda smell, but strong like a musk. I came home one night to a lame javelina in my driveway. I first knew something was wrong when it didn’t run away.  Over the next few days, it moved from near the house to the end of the driveway. It was the week before Thanksgiving and the smell outside my home was starting to concern me. I called the Wildlife people to ask what I should do if it died. I was informed they would take it away, but only if it died on the street. Should it die on my property, I was encouraged to drag the dead animal to the street. Are you kidding me?  They added to be careful as javelina tend not to leave anyone behind and members of its pack are probably close by. Fortunately, said javelina disappeared before the holiday.

They’ll eat just about anything. I suppose if cactus is one of your main food sources, anything goes. On my street, we do not have the luxury of taking our trash bins to the street the evening before it’s picked-up because the javelina will tip them over, eat what they want and leave a smelly mess. There’s a tiny fenced area in front of my house where we used to keep our trash bins. On more than one occasion, the gate got left open and I woke up to sleeping javelina against my door. Apparently, they were responsible enough to shut the gate. My neighbor has lost many a night’s sleep and plants to these desert dwellers. Over the last 25 years he has experimented with a variety of javelina proofing projects. He now has wrought iron fencing around all his flower beds.

They are not cute. Nope, not even the babies. I was however, fortunate enough to see a newborn once; it still had its umbilical cord attached. The mom dug a hole, partially covered the baby in dirt and went off in search of food.  She wasn’t gone long and the baby couldn’t have cared less. The process itself was fascinating and I tried really really hard to see the cuteness in that baby. I swear it is the only baby anything that I’ve found not to be.

Everyone has critters  in their neighborhood. Racoons, armadillos, squirrels, pigeoons, lions, elephants, kangaroos, bears, and sewer rats to name a few. If I had my pick you can be damn sure it wouldn’t be a rat. That and a lion, well and maybe an elephant.

 

 

 

 

I is for In-Laws

Marriages create In-Laws. Instant family expansion. The stories about in-laws could fill an endless amount of books. Mine is no exception.

I remember once talking to my brother-in-law about his mother (my mother-in-law) and his wife (my sister-in-law). His wife thought his mother was weird. I agreed, but so was his wife’s mother and more than likely my mother. Ok, me too.

That was when I realized we are creatures of the habits of our upbringing. As a child, you are comforted by the repetition of the way things go on in your home.  Family Game Night, Chore Sessions, Holiday Prep, even the horrors of discipline. Every family does it a little differently. So as an adult when you become part of another family, things are….well just a little weird.

His family puts oysters in their stuffing at Thanksgiving. I think that’s weird. Americans have been doing it for centuries, but it was the first time I’d ever heard of it, let alone tasted it. Let’s just say, it is one of his family’s traditions that did not become one of ours.

Then there’s the in-laws acquired by your siblings. These are the fun ones. The people who become your children’s aunts and uncles. The ones you hang out with at family gatherings. The ones you get close to and then BAM! DIVORCE! Yours, theirs, it doesn’t really matter. Divorce changes the dynamic, again. Sides are chosen and the life you were living becomes, well weird again. Traditions that involved in-laws no long related to you become stressful. The cousin who brought that heavenly desert bows out at the last-minute but their mother shows with that awful marshmallow salad.

Like parents, you don’t get to actually pick your in-laws. Your spouse is a choice.  Choose wisely. You children will inherit their weirdness and might love oyster stuffing.