Friday, June 1, 2018

Where Have All the Wranglers Gone?

In my younger days I have spent many hours in country western bars. My father taught my sister, Caren, to dance. Caren is very competitive, so she has to be the best at everything this includes dancing. Well, to become the best one must practice, therefore I have spent a tremendous amount of time in country bars watching Caren dance.

If one went to a country western bar, one needed to be mindful of the "uniform": Men-tight Wrangler jeans, roper boots, shirts tucked in, belt buckle the size of a dinner plate. (The size of the buckle, the size of one's hand and so forth), Women-tight Rockies, ropers, shirts tucked in, belt buckle much smaller than men's belt buckles. If one chose not to wear the uniform, one was open to ridicule, being ostracized, and  given a tacky nickname by me

Because I am in a wheelchair, I am at a certain eye level that emphasizes my ability to view the Wrangler Butt. I appreciate the Wrangler Butt. A pair of tight Wranglers can even make a buttless man have a butt. Over the years, I became quite an aficionado of the "Wrangler Butt".  Okay, I’ll say it I have a deep love for an arse in a pair of Wrangler Jeans and I don’t care what the face connected to that Wrangler Arse looks like.

Alas, it has been a long time since I have been to a country western bar. When I stopped driving I stopped going places. I stopped driving over twenty years ago which stopped my pleasurable journeys to The Land of the Wrangler Butts! I had to give up a lot of things when I stopped driving, but I think the loss of the observation cycle of the Wrangler Butt was one of the top ten losses.

Recently, I was watching T.V. which unfortunately is my new pastime and a “country western” singer  took the stage. I recognized the voice but, sadly, I saw no Wrangler Butt! The boy (I am unable to put the word cow in front of that word boy.) was NOT wearing Wranglers. He wasn’t even wearing jeans! He was wearing a pair of ripped sweatpants! Sweatpants? Really who wears sweatpants when one is trying to look good? And don’t get me started on the ripped t-shirt  and backwards baseball cap! Where have all the Wranglers Gone? (Heavy sigh!)

Where have all the Wranglers gone,
Long time passing,
Where have all the Wranglers gone,
Long time ago,
Where have all the Wranglers gone,
Tucked back in closets every one,
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the Wranglers gone,
Long time passing,
Where have all the Wranglers gone,
Long time ago,
Where have all the Wranglers gone,
Gone to sweatpants every one,
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Friends, we must take a stand! There is nothing attractive about baggy, ripped sweatpants. The buttcrack and underwear view is very offensive. Friends, I implore you, stand up for your right to see a cute arse in a pair of tight jeans. Friends, at your next “country” concert  when the lead singer comes out in a ripped t-shirt and baggy sweatpants stand up and shout, "We're not gonna take it! We're not gonna take it! We're not gonna take it anymore!" Okay sing it, if you want.

Stand Up for Wrangler Butts!

I’ve been told that the cowboy “uniform” is a thing of the past. That one must change with the times. I want cowboys to stick around. I want to see Wrangler Butts! When I die and go to heaven,  I want to follow “the light” into a cowboy dive with a line of cowboys, real men, standing at the bar with their backs to me and all the bar lights angled just right so they shine on those Wrangler Butts. Slowly, those cowboys will  turn, in unison, look at me, tip their cowboy hats, shuffle their cowboy boots, give a little head nod and say, “Howdy, ma’am! Were glad you came! May we have this dance.”



Paco's Perspective

You have made me wear some really ridiculous stuff, but never a pair of tight Wrangler jeans. I could be jor leetle vaquero!

The Flip Side

The cowboy uniform? Do lizards wear uniforms? It might be easier for me to catch them. If I knew what they were wearing!

Osa’s Opinion

I can see next year’s Christmas card . . . . Paco and Flip in jeans and cowboy hats and me in a silly prairie dress.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Silent Friday Fight! Shhhhhhhhh!

For over ten years I have taught gender-split classes. It is an interesting task teaching a class full of boys. At one time in my career I had a class of forty-seven seventh grade boys. What I’ve learned over the years is that boys and girls are sooooo different. There are advantages and disadvantages to separating genders. Girls will get into fights and hold grudges for months, but boys just beat each other up and then they are over it. You can’t have a class of boys without experiencing a fight in the classroom at some time. It happens about once a year. When one has thirty-two to forty-seven boys crammed in one classroom a fight is inevitable. When things are done and conferencing with the two parties begins I am amazed at their reason for a fight. The main reason for the start of a fight is, “He keeps looking at me!” Really, gentlemen!

Just recently, I experienced another fight in my classroom but what made this fight  different was it was a Silent Friday Fight. Silent Friday is something I have been doing for years, also. A dear friend and I made it up a long time ago. The last Friday of every quarter is Silent Friday. We give each student a certain amount of tickets and each time he or she talks  we take a ticket away and at the end of the day the students put their tickets in a drawing for prizes. We tell the students that the only way they can talk is write everything down. (It does improve their writing skills.) The students love Silent Friday and so does the school staff. Administration loves to try to get the students to talk and the students love to refuse to speak. It’s everyone’s one day of fun for the quarter. On our most recent Silent Friday a fight broke out in the boys’ class. I was working with some boys in the front of the room. They were writing notes to me and I was answering their questions. (By the way, I don’t have to be silent on Silent Friday because I am the Queen, and I went to college so I get to make ALL the rules!) All of a sudden, I heard moving of desks, I look up and I see two boys fighting in the back of the room. But they are fighting SILENTLY! I am trying to get to the back of the room but I have boys sitting on the floor in front of me. Suddenly and SILENTLY, two of my biggest boys step between the two offenders, pull them apart, sit them in opposite corners of the room and sit down. ALL THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT A SINGLE WORD SAID.  The two fighters never said a word to each other before the fight. They were silently slugging each other during the fight. The other boys silently watched. The fight was broken up without a word said by ANYONE, except me, of course, because my house, my rules.

When I took the two offenders outside the room to talk to them. I asked, “So what’s going on?”
One of the boys wrote on a piece of paper he had with him: He keeps looking at me!!!


Paco's Perspective 

I get it! I hate when Flip looks at me, why I oughta . . . . . . . . 


The Flip Side

At least, I look at you and give you fair warning. Osa just puts my entire head in her mouth! 


Osa's Opinion

You two are such whiny-babies!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Why Are You Whining? You Only Work 180 Days!

-->
I am not a political person. As a matter of fact, I hate politics, but that doesn’t mean I won’t speak up when there is a need.  During this RED4ED movement I have kept quiet and, to be honest, I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. But recently I have seen and read some misconceptions that people have about teachers and it’s time I spoke up for my colleagues.



The major misconception: Teachers only work 180 days and less than forty hours a week. Have you ever driven by a school parking lot? When I get to school at 6:30 a.m. the parking lot is already filling up and if you drive by a school parking lot at 6:00 p.m., it is probably still half full. Teachers’ work “days” go beyond a day because parents work, so teachers have to work nights also to have conferences, award ceremonies, after-school sporting activities, carnivals, book fairs, fall festivals, spring festivals, Read-to-Me nights, band concerts, choral festivals, school plays, dance recitals and the list goes on.



A teacher’s contract IS for 180 school days and they get paid for 180 days and that pay has to last for the entire year. Many teachers work two jobs. When I was young I worked summers. I have had many strange summer jobs I even sold vans one summer. I know many teachers, school secretaries, and aides that work a full day and then run to their night job at a local retail shop or movie theater and they work until closing, get home very late, grade papers, plan for the next day, fall in bed, get up early and start again. They do this because they don’t want to make the decision about what bill has to go unpaid so their family can eat.



I have taught for forty years and I have never worked less than fifty hours a week. I am at my desk at home first thing in the morning on Saturday and Sunday grading papers, writing lesson plans, searching for curriculum, creating curriculum, writing student objectives, writing success criteria, creating hyperdocs, texting parents, putting grades in the gradebook, etc., etc. and I am usually there until two or three in the afternoon. And I know this is what I signed up for forty years ago. And I know there are many professions that work extra hours, that go beyond the call of duty and that take work home.  But teachers don’t get paid overtime, they don’t get a tax deduction for a home office and  office supplies, and they don’t get bonuses. Do I think I work harder than a nurse, a police officer, a firefighter, or  a social worker? NO WAY! I want those that have been pooh-poohing the teaching profession lately to know that teachers work longer than just 8 to 3.



Another misconception: The teacher walk-out is about teachers’ salaries. Yes, Doug Ducey “promised” to raise teachers’ salaries 20 percent over time. That is like giving someone a promise ring. I think promise rings are given by men that don’t have the guts or kahonies to make a real commitment. This walk-out is about so much more than teachers’ salaries. It’s about 4.56 BILLION DOLLARS PILFERED from the education fund since 2009 and those cuts haven’t been restored. Arizona is frighteningly low in education funding. Arizona is one of the states that has the highest pupil-to-teacher ratio and the lowest per-pupil funding. This walk-out is about over 2,000 teaching positions that weren’t filled four months in to the school year, 3,400 teaching jobs filled by people who weren’t trained to teach and 866 teachers that quit before December of 2017 because the job was too hard. This walk-out is about the shortage of supplies for classroom, money for textbooks that are up-to-date, and healthy working and learning environments. Many may not understand this, but THIS WALK-OUT IS ABOUT CHILDREN.



I retired three years ago but I continued to teach because I LOVE MY JOB! The past three years I have had to work at grade levels that were short teachers. In 2015, I offered to teach 7th grade (Yea, I’m still asking myself, “What was I thinking?”) We were short a teacher and instead of subjecting the students to a steady stream of substitute teachers that never taught (at that time my district was working with a temp agency to fill in for the lack of substitute teachers), my teammates and I decided we would divide four classes of students into three classes. We had  an average of 45 seventh graders in a class. The logistics of square footage, desks, big bodies and room for my wheelchair was frightening. But we were dedicated, we wanted what was best for the students, we were gung-ho and we were sure we could do it. About two months into it, we were at my house on a Saturday lesson planning (which we did about every other Saturday) and we were exhausted, slap-happy and in tears. We were sure that eventually the district could find a qualified candidate that wanted to teach seventh grade. We were wrong. The district office did come through but two people from the district had to take the fourth class half-days. It was a good effort but it ended up difficult for all parties concerned. The next year I moved back to fifth grade with a full intact team. One of our teammates became very ill and was unable to teach and, as team leader, I spent the year writing lesson plans, grading papers, and keeping up on paperwork for a string of substitute teachers.

This past year I was positive it was going to be different. I had an intact team, no one was ill and all showed up on the first day of school and then our grade level became part of the “866 teachers leave the profession before December 2017” statistic. Our grade level had NOT ONE BUT TWO teachers resign before Labor Day.



Whenever I am in a group of unfamiliar people and someone asks, “What do you do?” I hate answering "that question". It is not because I am ashamed of what I do. I am very proud of what I do. Many times too proud. But, whenever I answer, "I am a teacher," I have to listen to every bad teacher story there is in the room. Whenever someone tells me, "I am a banker, CEO, or legislators," I don't tell them about the bad bankers, CEOs, or legislators I have come across, and I have come across many.



I know there are bad teachers, really I do know, but there are many more good teachers than there are bad teachers. I truly don't believe that any teacher goes into teaching thinking, "I am just going to do what I need to do to get by because I don't care about children. I am only here for the short hours and I get summers off"



In conclusion, teachers:



  • many times leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark
  • work at home grading, planning, etc. (this does not include their mom or dad duties)
  • work for free doing parent-teacher conferences, meet the teacher nights, math nights, literacy nights, read-to-me nights, school carnivals, community clean-ups, science fairs, curriculum nights, book parades, and pep rallies just to name a few
  • can collect field trip money, t-shirt money, homework, make-up work, notes from home, and have it counted, checked off, organized and put away in the first five minutes of the day
  • can eat a seven course meal in seven minutes
  • take a thirty minute lunch everyday (if that much)
  • never get to go to lunch
  • eat their lunch with children
  • eat their breakfast with children
  • spend thousands of dollars every year for their class and can only deduct $250 a year
  • deserve Oscars for keeping the attention of children 7 hours a day
  • never sit down
  • are always exposed to germs
  • are substitute mothers
  • know more about some students than they want
  • wish they could take many of their students home
  • have to prove that they are highly qualified every year
  • know their jobs are the first to be cut in a budget crisis
  • are expected to have ALL students at grade level
  • teach before school, during school, and after school
  • are accountants
  • are janitors
  • are counselors
  • are plumbers
  • are organizers
  • are behavior management specialists
  • are mechanics
  • have to wait forever to go to the bathroom



I have this quote on the bottom of my email that I would like Doug Ducey and the legislature to see:

"Every city should make the common school so rich, so large, so ample, so beautiful in its endowments, and so fruitful in its results, that a private school will not be able to live under the drip of it." Henry Ward Beecher



It’s time for the great state of Arizona to restore the cuts made from the education fund. It’s time to lower the pupil-to-teacher and counselor ratio and raise the per-pupil funding. It's time to stop overlooking support staff. Our children should be the only thing on our minds. It’s time!


Paco’s Perspective

Doug Ducey is a person? When I make doo-doo in the yard and you pick it up you always say, “Wow! That’s a big Doug Ducey!” I am one confused chihuahua.



The Flip Side

Are you sure you’re NOT political?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Inclusion


I have been disabled all my life. Fortunately for me I had the opportunity to attend public school and be included in mainstream classes. This is no small fete considering that I am a child of the sixties when handicapped students were not allowed to attend public school. How could this happen?

I was born in Iowa. I have an older sister, a younger sister and a younger brother, Brad” that was also disabled. It was difficult for my brother and me to maneuver in the snow and the cold weather wasn’t great for anyone with Muscular Dystrophy. My parents took a big risk leaving family, friends and work behind to move to Arizona for my brother and I.

In the summer of 1962, my parents bought a John F. Long home on the Westside of Phoenix, Arizona a half of a block away from Holiday Park Elementary School in the Cartwright District. I was six years old and my mom decided to sign me up to attend school. In the sixties disabled children did NOT attend public school. My disability wasn’t obvious at such a young age. I could walk at the time but if I fell, one could easily see that I was disabled by the way I got up and the time it took me to get up. On the first day of school my mom looked me in the eye and said, “Watch your step! Don’t fall! And, Cathy, keep your mouth shut and don’t make waves!” (Even at the age of six, I was being warned to be quiet and don’t make waves. Those that know me will laugh at this and wonder why I didn’t follow that mantra all my life.) I happily attended Holiday Park Elementary School. My parents were part of the local Muscular Dystrophy Association and Brad and I were cute kids at that young age and were the “Arizona State Poster Children” for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. At many of the Muscular Dystrophy functions other parents were surprised that I attended public school and when my mother was asked how she got me in public school her answer was simple, “I went and registered her.”

The next year it was time for Brad to go to school. Brad was already in a wheelchair so there was no hiding the fact that he was disabled. My mom took my brother with her when she went to register him for school and this time she got a different reaction. She was directed to speak with the principal and he said he was sorry but Brad wouldn’t be able to attend school but he could give her a list of place where he could attend school. My mom said to the principal, “Why can’t he attend this school? His sister goes to this school and she has the same disability as Brad! Their problem is they can’t walk NOT that they can’t think!” The principal was dumbfounded and Brad attended Holiday Elementary School. At that moment in time, The principal, Robert Smith, my mom, Brad and I had set a precedent for the Cartwright School District – Disabled children were allowed to attend public school. Throughout my public school career I saw many disabled children attending school.

Why was this amazing? Public Law 94-142 was not passed until 1974, which was the year I graduated from high school. Public Law 94-142 gave ALL children the access to a public education. This was twelve years after I started attending public school.

I truly believe that if I hadn’t received a public education I would have never been able to attend or graduate from college. In the sixties, “education” for the disabled consisted of teaching life skills. Even in 1974 I had to fight to be allowed to become a teacher. The Arizona State University College of Education didn’t want me to waste my time and resources on a teaching degree that “the powers that be” felt would never be used because no one would hire disabled teachers. But I had spent years in the Cartwright District public school system influenced by so many amazing teachers and also by this time I had dropped the part of my mother’s daily mantra, “Cathy, keep your mouth shut and don’t make waves.” I was a tsunami and I fought to attend the College of Education, and besides The Arizona State University College of Education didn’t know I had an ace in the hole – the Cartwright School District.

Public Law 94-142 also stated that public buildings had to be handicapped accessible but there was a five-year time period that owners could take to make their buildings accessible. Many places started slow by painting a wheelchair on a parking space or taking the door off of a toilet stall to make it “accessible”. I spent most of my college years and part of my teaching career not drinking any liquids during the day and rushing home, at the end of the day, to go to the bathroom. In 1978, I graduated from Arizona State University with a teaching degree that many thought was useless.

In 1978 there was a push to “hire the handicapped” but at that time disabled teachers were not part of the “push”.  I went to the only place I knew that would accept me for who I was, the Cartwright School District. I figured if the Cartwright School District didn’t need a law to do what was right for children, then the district probably didn’t need a law to hire a disabled teacher.

In August of 1978 I started my forty-year teaching career. In the early 80s I was one of three teachers that implemented an inclusion plan where all special education students stayed in the mainstream class for the entire day. The Cartwright School District was doing inclusion long before the word was invented. The Cartwright District has always been open to research-based ideas that improve student achievement and has been the forerunner of doing what is the best for students without expecting any acknowledgement.

I am always amazed at the cycles in the education system. The Arizona State Department is cycling back to FULL INCLUSION. There are grants that teach and support schools on full inclusion. The school that I am teaching at now, Borman, is in the second year of the grant. I have always pushed to have my students with special needs stay in my class as much as possible. I believe they have a right to be exposed to the grade level curriculum. Many ask, “But what about the students that can’t handle the regular classroom?” The other day as I was walking across campus I ran into a student from another school I had taught in the past. When I first met him the word “autistic” was NOT part of our daily educational vocabulary as it is today.  I know this young man will never understand the middle school curriculum nor will he pass the state required tests. But being a part of the mainstream class is teaching him and his classmates life lessons. He is learning how to function in crowds. He is also learning how to avoid unkind individuals, unfortunately. I hope his classmates are learning to be more accepting of others. My head is not completely in the clouds. I know that there are students with special needs that will need a self-contained classroom and even one-on-one aids. But I also know that if one doesn’t set one’s goals beyond their reach then one will never reach the stars.

I am one of the lucky ones. If not for my full-inclusive public education, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I thank God for leading my parents to the right place, with the right open-minded leader at the wrong time in educational history. I guess I am again a “poster child” but this time for full inclusion. As I get ready to retire, no really I am, I’m not kidding this time, I realize how lucky I was to have a mother that wouldn’t take no for an answer and to have been a product of the Cartwright School District. 

Paco's Perspective
I like school. When will there be full-inclusion for dogs? I know there are a lot of faces to lick and hearts to melt.

The Flip Side
Do they have lizards at school? You know how much I love chasing lizards, oh, and bunnies and gophers and squirrels? Did some say squirrel? Is there a class in chasing animals?

Osa's Opinion
I'm thinking school is not the place for us! What is school? 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Meltdown in the Fast Food Drive-Thru


We are generally not fast food people and my sister, Caren, wants nothing to do with fast food. She would rather find something at home to make or go without. She and I have a difficult time on the way to Montana deciding what we want to eat because there isn’t much fast food we have tried.

The other day Darrell texted Caren to tell us we had to stop and get food to bring home because the guy started working on the kitchen cabinets and we couldn’t get into the kitchen to even get plates or silverware. There are no fast food places near our home so we had to quickly pick a place before we got too close to home.

“Caren, there is a Kentucky Fried Chicken right here on the corner,” I suggested.

“I hate KFC,” she replied.

“Well . . . . there is a Jack-in-the-Box by the Fry’s,” I tried again.

“Jack-in-the-Box! Are you kidding me? Yuck!”

“You like chicken,” me trying one more time.

“Not fried chicken!”

“They have grilled.”

“Okay, I guess but they better have something I like.” We proceeded to pull into the KFC drive-thru. Caren started reading the menu.

“Look at that!” she shouted. “One breast of chicken is seven dollars!”

“There are sides that come with it,” me trying to alleviate her angst.

“But who pays seven dollars for ONE chicken breast? That’s crazy,” Caren lamented. “I’m just going to get a bucket of chicken.”

“But we only eat the breasts and usually there is only one breast in a bucket of chicken,” I was starting to whine.

“Darrell will eat the rest of the bucket,” she informed me.

“Darrell isn’t going to eat eight pieces of chicken. Caren, we gotta go there are people behind us,” I informed her.

“But I don’t know what I want,” she said with trepidation.

“There is another menu by the speaker. But we gotta move.”

When we get to the speaker where one shouts what they want Caren begins another rant about the seven-dollar chicken breast. “I am not paying seven dollars for one chicken breast. Do you know that I just bought a pack of chicken breasts at Fry’s for ten dollars. And they had a sale. It was buy one, get two free. SO I got three packs of chicken breast for ten dollars and these jokers want me to spend seven dollars for ONE, I REPEAT ONE CHICKEN BREAST!”

“It comes with fries,” trying to console her.

“May I take your order?” asks the speaker box.

“First, I don’t eat fries! Second there are not enough fries in the world that could be put in that ‘Chicken Breast Box’ that could make up for paying seven dollars for one breast of chicken. Oh my God! That car has pulled up behind me and now the driver is flinging his hands in the air. I gotta decide! I can’t decide! I can’t pay seven dollars for one chicken breast,” Caren whines starting to definitely meltdown.

“May I take your order?” asks the speaker box but slightly louder.

I quickly scan the menu board looking for something that is less than seven dollars. “Look, they have baskets for $5.99!”

“Where? I don’t see that?” she asks.
Right there, where it says baskets. Three chicken tender come in a basket with slaw and a biscuit.”

“Only three chicken tenders! Do you know how small chicken tenders are? NOBODY EATS CHICKEN TENDERS. Darrell is not going to want chicken tenders!” she replies in full meltdown.

“Um . . .may . . .I . . .take . . .your order?” asks the speaker box hesitantly.

“Oh . . .my . . .God! The person behind me is flinging their hands harder and higher. I can’t do this!” Shouting at the speaker box, “I am sorry but I can’t do .. oo . . .oo . . . th . .  I . . .i . . .i . . .is! No one in their right mind should pay seven dollars for one chicken breast!’

“it come with fries and a side,” comforts the speaker box.

“But then I have to choose a side?” Caren cries. “The man behind me is flinging, my heart is pounding, and my head is whirling . . .”

“We have chicken tender baskets . . . ,” replies the speaker box tentatively.

“Really? CHICKEN TENDERS? Darling, nobody wants chicken tenders! I just have to drive thru, and go home with no food. I should have just gone to McDonald’s.”

“Have a nice day,” says the speaker box cheerily.

After stopping at the Burrito Barn food truck, we made it home with something to eat. When we got in the house Caren glares at Darrell and says, “Tomorrow, if we can’t get into the cabinets, you are cooking chicken on the grill and I don’t care if we have to use flat rocks for plates and eat with our fingers. I am NOT going through a fast food drive-thru!”

I smiled, “Um . . .Darrell, we, as in she, kind of had a fast food meltdown in the drive-thru of the KFC,” I informed him.

Darrell replies, “Kentucky Fried Chicken? I LOVE Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s ‘finger-lickin’ good! My favorite is the chicken tenders. I just love chicken tenders!”

Paco's Perspective
Chicken tenders? Did someone say chicken tenders?

The Flip Side
I would have helped Uncle Darrell eat the other eight pieces of chicken. P.S. everybody loves chicken tenders. They are tender and juicy and just the right size. MMMMMMMM!
 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

It's a Cacaphony


I live outside of the city in an acreage community where one can own any kind of animal except pigs. Most homes are on two acres, so it’s like a little ranch community.  When we have visitors the first thing that is said is, “Wow! It’s so quiet out here!”

My reply, “Mmmmmmmmm, not really.  It’s a cacophony out here.  Did you know that the mockingbird sings until it finds its mate?  It doesn’t stop singing when it gets dark either.  It sings all night long!”

One might ask, “What’s wrong with birds singing? I love to hear birds singing.”

“ A mockingbird lives up to its name.  It imitates other birds’ songs and the most distinctive part of the song.  Just what I’ve always wanted the bird version of Jimmy Fallon outside my window at two o’clock in the morning.  Then there are the coyotes. When you think of coyotes I bet you picture a coyote howling at the moon.  Coyotes don’t howl.  They also don’t bark.  They yip and whine.  When they catch their prey they yip and whine even louder. Have you ever heard a bunny scream?”

“By the way did I tell you about the neighbor’s cow. She moos all the time.  She moos when she is lonely, she moos when she is hungry and she moos when she escapes and ends up right near my bedroom window. The last time the neighbor came to fetch his cow I heard him say to her, ‘Brandy, if you break out one more time, you’re going to end up on the dinner table.’  Brandy must have escaped again because I haven’t heard her mooing in a long time.” 

“When the coyotes have gone to their den, the cow has settled done, the dogs have stopped barking, the mockingbird has become hoarse, the roosters start to crow”

One might think, “Hey, roosters only crow when the sun comes up.”

“One has thought wrong.  Roosters crow when someone turns on a light.  Roosters crow at a full moon.  Roosters crow when the sun goes down, roosters crow when the sun comes up, and they start crowing two hours before the sun comes up.”

“When the rooster starts crowing about 3:30 a.m. that wakes up the peacock.  The peacock is the finale of the crescendo outside my window. Then the screams of the peacock wakes up the mockingbird and the cacophony starts again.”

Don’t take this wrong, readers, I love my cacophony! I am an old lady. I don’t need much sleep. Besides, I could never move back to the “city” it’s way too noisy! 

Paco's Perspective
You said caca! You said caca! You said caca!

The Flip Side
Hey, Knucklehead, she didn't say caca! She said caca funny, like, you stepped in my caca! Funny!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Singing for a Girl That’s Never Coming to the Dance


Recently someone in my neighborhood has acquired a peacock. Peacocks are beautiful birds when they strut their stuff but they also can be a pain in the arse (as a kilted Scot would say).
The peacock is the national bird of India. The peafowl is prominent in the mythology and folklore of the Indian people. The Hindus consider the bird to be sacred because the god, Kartikeya, rides on its back. Also legends hold that the peafowl can charm snakes and make their eggs become rotten.
Apparently, there are benefits to owning peafowl. I read in a blog (yes, people actually blog about peafowl), “a good peafowl can have all the loyalty of a dog, all the self-reliance of a cat, and all the ease of maintenance of a goldfish--though when a full-grown peafowl dies, it can be a lot harder to flush down the toilet.” Peafowl also eat lizards, roaches, spiders, snakes and scorpions. They are also very territorial and will let one know when someone or something nearing one’s yard.
The main disadvantage of peafowl, besides they are birds and they poop, is they are noisy. Peafowl supposedly have seven distinct calls including a distress call, a get out of my yard call, a look how cool I am call and a hey, chicky baby, come this way call. During mating season peacocks call to their mates in the early morning and when the sun goes down.
The peacock that has been hanging around my house starts calling for his lady around 3:15 a.m. I know it’s 3:15 because I have been waking up to his “hey, chicky baby, come this way” call for about a week. Unfortunately for Mr. Peacock, most people own peacocks and not peahens. One because they don’t want little peacocks, and also because peahens aren’t as beautiful as the peacock. So every day Mr. Peacock starts singing for a girl that’s never coming to the dance. Believe me it doesn’t sound like singing. The mating call of a peacock sounds like an off-key cat caught by a rocking chair. I can’t imagine what the “get out of my yard” call sounds like, if the mating call is suppose to be the most attractive call.
Peafowl have a tendency to wander, if one doesn’t acclimate them to their home before letting them out. No offense to Mr. Peacock and the people of India but I hope he wanders back to India. If he wants, I’ll by him a ticket to his homeland.

Paco’s Perspective
Singing for the girl that’s never coming to the dance. That’s a great title for a country western song. I can hear Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood singing the chorus”
As he steps on the stage, he prays
She’ll give one more chance
But he’s singing for a girl that’s never
Coming to the dance

The Flip Side
Peacocks eat lizards? No wonder, there aren’t as many lizards to chase. I’ll pitch in for Mr. Peacock's trip home.