Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pets and Hurricane Harvey





Pic by Scott Olson (Getty Images)


This picture really got to me. This poor swimming cat, with a look of desperation on his face, just trying to make it to higher ground. I was crushed when I saw this. People are not the only ones who have been suffering during Hurricane Harvey. People's pets and other animals are also fighting to survive. The photos of these animals all have the same look of fright, anxiety, and apprehension you see on the faces of their human companions.




Cowboys saving their cattle (from Houston Chronicle)

From the cowboy trying to get his horse to higher ground. To the farmer searching for his herd of cattle of 90, only to be able to find 30. The others presumed dead, including many calves. To the countless dogs and cats being passed from arm to arm or from carrier to boat, all to safety. To the farmer leading a stray long horn steer who is not fighting him because he wants to get to higher ground and safety. To still another herd of cattle, all 25 crowded around the last stand of high ground around the ranch house. Everyone and every animal, trying to survive.



"Frankie and Bear" Picture by Ed Lavandara CNN (off his Instagram page)

Frankie and Bear )above) had to be left behind by their human family who were unable to take the dogs with them into the rescue boat. Heartbroken, their only option was to leave them in their smaller boat, hoping someone would find them. Luckily, people did, are caring for the pooches, and will reunite them with their family at some point.


 Otis www.facebook.com/TieleDockens


And then we have Otis, a German Shepherd mix in Sinton, Texas, wandering around town with a bag of his favorite dog food after getting out from an enclosed porch. Apparently he knew exactly where to go for it at a local food store. He has since been reunited with his owner. Otis was just hungry and is now an internet celebrity! (picture by Sinton, Texas resident Tiele Dockens)

There are countless stories of heartache and tragedy but also ones of rescue and hope. People are still are struggling down in Texas and will continue to do so for months to come. Water pumps are breaking down, people still need to be rescued, and shelters are still being opened up.

For more information on the plight of the animals and pets during Hurricane Harvey, CNN has published an informative article: 

What can we do for our fellow man? There are a myriad of organizations collecting for those people that have lost everything to Hurricane Harvey. You can donate to the Red Cross, the Houston Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and Save the Children funds to name a few. The New York Times has published an excellent article and links for many charities in an effort to prevent people from getting scammed:

What can we do for the pets?  Another excellent article detailing pet relief efforts was published by Today.com: https://www.today.com/pets/hurricane-harvey-flooding-how-help-save-animals-pets-t115618 .

Specific relief organizations include the www.ASPCA.com, https://www.petcofoundation.org/, and www.humanesociety.org . Do your research and determine whether you want to donate locally, or donate nationally. Either way, make sure it's a bonafide organization. I will be donating to help those pets in need. No judgment calls during times like this either. If you wish to donate just for your fellow man, that's awesome. Everyone down there, people and pets, needs our help.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Scaling Back Yet Again...


My social media contacts on Facebook have grown tremendously in the past several years, partly because of me wanting to promote the blog. But I don't think it has 'helped' the blog as I've thought or hoped it would. 

I'm torn somewhat but I've decided to scale back for my own sanity. I think I'm done with the acquaintance friend. I have more acquaintance friends on here from my local community which have caused me more stress than someone from Indiana who wants to be my friend just to read my blog! And guess who will ultimately remain, the housewife from Indiana who supports my writing. I'm done feeling like I have to have an online phone book called Facebook. I will go through and see who supports the blog. That will be a big decision. Keeping family, Philly friends, high school/college friends and fraternity bros are at the top of my list too. 

Time to evaluate again where this path called life is leading me! And remember, nothing in life is permanent. People come and go in our our lives and their is nothing wrong with that. Making someone feel guilty for these types of decisions is wrong though.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Flower Rockets are a DUD



So with this day being what would've been my mother's 75th birthday, I am dedicating this laughably "garden" blog post to my dear Mom Abby. I feel she would've gotten a kick out of this post. And in retrospect, I think I will follow her gardening advice from here on in and plant marigolds and impatiens because as she used to say, "They'll survive anything!"

Back at the end of April, I purchased several Flower Rockets at the local Rite-Aid store. They were on sale for $1.00 per box (that should've been my first clue) and even better yet they're... "AS SEEN ON TV!"(second clue, slapping me in the face).

I have WHEAT growing on my deck...
Yes, I am sometimes a sucker for that age-old slogan slapped on any merchandise. The Hurricane Spin Mop?  The Pyramid Silicone Baking Mat? The Dump Cake Cook Book!? Brett Favre's Copper Fit Socks!?!? All seen on TV??? I'll take them!

LOL I'm not that bad BUT I was excited about these little boxes labeled "Flower Rockets." I figured how easy is this? Plant a biodegradable pod of seeds and in a month to 2 months, have a ROCKET of flowers ALL SUMMER LONG! This I figured, would save me so much time and energy and bursts of color would be blooming all over the yard! They promised an entire summer and fall of hundreds of zinnias, hummingbirds flowers, and summer bouquets!

I don't know what the heck this is!!!
I took a picture of the Flower Rocket boxes but it came out blurry. Perhaps my skepticism was trying to rear it's ugly head and shake some sense into me via my phone. The very first pic above was copied online and shows what is SUPPOSED to grow from the seed pods. 6 boxes, NOT ONE BLOOM.

I start each Spring off this way. I get so excited about my yard with the multiple flower beds and planters. I makes lists on what I am going to plant. I hunt for sales on plantings. I get all the gardening equipment out and clean them off. I make sure I have gardening gloves, seeds, plant food, pesticides, etc. The yard is big so it's quite a daunting task. But I said to myself, this year will be different. The Flower Rockets will make it easier!

3 mths later, NOTHING
WRONG. I planted 6 Flower Rockets. and 100% of them were DUDs upon lift off. NO FLOWERS. Three months later, three of them didn't even grow! The other 3 were just weeds, weeds, weeds! After all is said and done, I don't even know what these weeds are! For all I know, I am bringing in invasive species into my friggin' yard!  I ended up planting primroses late in the season in two of the empty flower pots.

Screw the rockets, bring in the roses.
After the fact, I did some research and found that the MAJORITY of buyers of the Flower Rockets (at least on Amazon) were very unhappy and had the same crappy experience as me. In other words, NOTHING GREW. Next year, I'm sticking with Mom's advice and buying just impatiens and marigolds. Heck, even the deer stay away from the marigolds!

Buyer beware my friends! https://www.amazon.com/Roll-Out-Flowers-Flower-Rocket/dp/B00BHIUT4Q

Monday, August 7, 2017

NO to Public Drama


(Not my pic)

I was out this past weekend at a local restaurant with a friend. We stopped for a quick beer, just one. We were sitting at the bar and said hi to a couple we know from our community. 

I don't know them that well at all but enough to say hi, shake a hand, and chat for 5 minutes before going about my business, that sort of thing. It was pleasant. If this was the mid 20th century, we exchanged pleasantries.

"How is your summer going?" 
"Mine is well, how is yours?"
"Its going great, but going fast."
"I agree, before you know it, it'll be the fall!"

That sort of thing. 

My attention turned back to my beer and I chatted up my friend. The couple sat 3 seats down talking adamantly. I could tell within 2 minutes they had drank way more than a couple drinks each. They started arguing and it got ugly. The woman was accusing the man of treating her badly and began to get louder and louder. He attempted to calm her down, to no avail. 

When that didn't work, he grew louder and louder in return. He was 'upping the ante.' It was as if they were making embarrassing points about each other just so the others at the bar could hear the sordid details of the argument. Personal subject matter was brought up which should never be brought up in public. Neither party was the innocent one.

It was SO extremely awkward. Cursing began. There were other people at the bar and it just grew so silent whilst the two continued their inebriated argument. I glanced at my friend and we both read each other's mind. Time to finish our beers and leave. I don't even remember if I said good bye. I just wanted to get the hell outta there. 

Once back in my car, my friend and I discussed what we had witnessed and the awkwardness of it all. We both realized that they were lobbing accusations loudly at one another on purpose just for the rest of the bar to hear. And we both decided at the same time that it was definitely time to go. I hate public drama and so does he. Some things should just be private. It was absolutely mortifying. 

We talked about what to take away from this experience. What could we learn? One thing was to realize what type of drinker you are. If you are one who tends to become emotional or argumentative when drinking, maybe you need to question how much you are drinking in public so avoid from having a meltdown if you are triggered by another party. 

Another lesson was that we realized from watching it on the other side, how mortifying it is when people air their dirty laundry in public! And this couple was not a young couple. They were the perfect example of a middle aged couple lacking maturity in social situations. Don't be that couple!

Obviously, the alcohol did not help the situation. As a bartender, I do see my fair share and try and curb it by watching people's emotions and reactions to alcohol as the night goes on. 

Public drama between couples is never pretty. It's pretty obvious, don't drink to excess and publicly argue. If you know you have an issue with your emotions when you drink, recognize it and if you need help with controlling them, seek it out. 

The final lesson we discussed was that even when you are SOBER, don't argue in public. If you have an issue with someone such as your spouse, significant other, or even a friend, temper your emotions and deal with it in an appropriate setting. Not a bar. Not a restaurant. Not the local supermarket. No one likes witnessing public drama. It makes the rest of us uncomfortable.

Now I'm not perfect. Never said I was. But at least I can take something away from such an awkwardly horrible situation and learn from it. Though I doubt this couple will.