Polo

They were bored. They decided to go out into the woods behind Jeremy’s house. They grabbed some sodas and started out. Jeremy and Chris had been friends since kindergarten and they were always together. Always. They followed each other everywhere. You couldn’t separate them.

As they made their way to the trees Chris started telling Jeremy about his weekend with his dad.

“I wish I didn’t even have to go over there. Neither one of us wants to see each other anyway.”

“Yeah but your mom thinks you should.” Jeremy shrugged. His parents were still together, he didn’t know what it was like living in two different places.

“Yeah well she doesn’t have to see him so why should I?” Chris picked up a stick and started breaking it. “It’s fine. I’ll be sixteen soon enough and when I get my license I’ll just get a job and be too “busy” to go over there.” Chris smiled to himself.

They walked deeper into the woods and the world outside became quieter. They found a fallen tree and sat on it.

“So with this new job are you going to ask Jamie out finally?” Jeremy asked.

“Maybe. We’ll see.” Chris said nonchalantly.

“This guy.” Jeremy shook his head and scoffed.

“Hey there’s this cool cave I found the other day, I wanna show you.” Chris thought he was smooth as subject change.

“Nah, man. I’m tired. I just wanna chill here for a minute.”

“Come on!” Chris slapped Jeremy on the arm.

“Dude, stop. You know I hate that shit. Don’t hit me.”

“What are you gonna do about it?” Chris taunted.

“I’ll tell Jamie you watch her walk from the bus into school every morning.” Jeremy threatened. “I’ll tell her you look for her every day at lunch.”

“Seriously? Low blow, man. I’m going to that cave without you. You don’t deserve to see it.” Chris stood up and charged toward the cave without a glance back. Jeremy sat there for a minute and laughed to himself. He wouldn’t betray his friend like that, even if he was sick of getting playfully hit. He finished his soda and tossed the can into the brush. He stretched then started for the direction that Chris went.

“Hey, Chris!” He called. No response. Chris was probably ignoring him. He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, “Marco!”

“Polo.” Came a whisper. Jeremy stopped. Did he imagine it? He walked a little farther.

“Marco!” He yelled again.

“Polo.” Another whisper, louder this time.

“Chris?” Jeremy stopped again, listened. No response. He started walking again, slowly, his eyes scanning the trees for movement. “Marco!”

“Polo.” Several voices whispered this time. Jeremy froze. He turned completely around looking for the source of the whispers. There was no one around.

“CHRIS!” He called he started running. He couldn’t see his friend. He didn’t know where the cave was and he didn’t recognize where he was. He kept calling for Chris but there was no response. He ran and ran as the voices around him whispered his name.

Later that evening Chris was sitting at the dinner table on the phone with Jeremy’s mother.

“I don’t know where he went. I was going to show him this cool cave I found in my backyard but he didn’t follow me. I turned around and he wasn’t there. When I got back to the tree he was gone. He didn’t come home?”

“No I haven’t seen him. If you see him tell him to get his butt home immediately.”

“Okay I will. Bye.” Chris hung up the phone. He looked out the window at the trees swaying in the wind, the darkened sky making them look eerie. He grabbed a flashlight and went out the back door. He stood at the edge of the wood and called to his friend.

“Jeremy!” No response. “Jeremy can you hear me?! Follow the sound of my voice!” He heard movement in the brush. He shown his light on it and waited.

“Jeremy?” He listened. “Marco!”

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Photo by Jose Vega from Pexels

 

Some of My Better Posts

Every once in a while I look back at stuff I wrote in the past on this blog and I’m proud of myself. I have shared some things with you all that I never thought I could share with complete strangers. I thought I’d save you the trouble of searching through all my old posts and I’d list the ones I like the most. I hope you read them and I hope you like them.

What’s With Wicca?

Who I Am Without Medication

5 Things Women Should Be Proud Of

My Struggle With Codependency

I Am No One’s Pawn

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My Semester in a Pandemic

No one ever expects to see a pandemic in their lifetime. I feel very lucky to be healthy and thriving through this time. I cannot imagine how the people who are dealing with this illness first hand are doing. 

My challenges this semester were simple at first, maybe because I anticipated what was going to come with the busyness of work, school and raising a family. I was stressed, don’t get me wrong. This was my first semester of law classes and I was very nervous to start them. I waited until I was 30 to finally decide what I wanted to do with my life, what if I failed? What if it proved to be too difficult? What if I had to go back to the drawing board? I wouldn’t know until I tried.

So I started the semester anyway and did the work. I was slowly getting the hang of it. I was learning so much and feeling good about the choice I made to become a paralegal. Then the Coronavirus came. My husband became furloughed, I became furloughed. We didn’t know what was going to happen. I immediately started freaking out. 

The one constant thing that kept going was school. Yes, it was online, but it was still there. I didn’t feel completely stuck. I could still continue on my journey. At least I wasn’t standing still. Having my husband home to help with the kids when I needed to attend class was a huge help. He kept those youngin’s in line. Thank goodness for the mute button on my end.

I think one of the hardest things for me this semester, though, was finding the motivation to do my homework and assignments. Mostly because when the world is shut down and you can’t leave your house and you can’t see your friends and family, it’s enough to make anybody feel down. Add that to my clinical depression and you have a potato. Potatoes can’t do homework. At least that’s what I would tell myself. I couldn’t let this keep me down. I had to tell myself that school is one of the few things I have right now that I can use to keep my mind off of all the bad stuff. I reminded myself that potatoes are the most versatile of all vegetables. 

I didn’t mind the zoom classes either. It was nice to have extra time before and after class to do whatever instead of sitting in a car for thirty minutes. I saved a ton of money in gas not having to drive to class. I also started reading books for fun again with all this free time. I am also glad that I got to spend more time with my husband and sons, especially since my boys are little. One day they’re going to grow up and not want to spend time with me at all so I have to soak it all up now, even if we’re all driving each other crazy. 

If I had any advice for a future student who may go through a tough semester I would say this: don’t stop. Even when it’s hard and you have no motivation and it seems tough, don’t stop. You’re not wasting your time. You are moving toward something, not taking away from anything. You can do it. It’s only temporary, just don’t stop. 

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Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Some Book Reviews

As some of you may know I read. A lot. I like to set a goal for myself each year to read as many books as I can. Normally that number is 60-70 books a year but since I have been in school I have had to lower that number quite a bit. This year I have lowered my goal to 30. So far I have only accomplished 6 books, but with the semester finally coming to a close I plan to catch up quickly. Here’s what I’ve read so far:

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The thing I love about Kent Haruf’s books is that they’re so human. I really enjoyed this book, it really gives you some faith in humanity. It is the first in a series, which I was grateful for because when this book ended I remember thinking, “that can’t be it.” There are a few story lines going on and it’s all happening in a small Colorado town. You have a father who is trying to raise his two sons alone because his wife is sick but also wanting out of the marriage. You have a teenage girl who gets kicked out of her mother’s house because she becomes pregnant. You have an old lady who lives alone who becomes very special to the two boys who are learning to live life with their parents apart. It’s very much full of the things we all experience and it makes you feel connected to these characters.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

This is the series that the show True Blood is based off of. Now, I will say I read this book because of a recommendation of a friend. I’m not really one for vampires, I think I’ve said this before. This book really gave me Twilight vibes. I know it’s a little grittier and more southern but it was basically Twilight for me. I enjoyed the book but I don’t plan on reading the rest of the series.

The Alienst by Caleb Carr

I got this book as a gift from a friend, someone who really knows my heart. She knows I can’t resist a good murder mystery. This book reminded me a lot of the series Midhunter on Netflix. It’s very similar in the way that Dr. Kreizler tries to figure out what makes a person kill for pleasure. It also reminded me of Silence of the Lambs, just set in Victorian New York. I really enjoyed this one.

The Outlander by Gil Adamson

I really love a good survival story. Man or woman against nature, using their wits to make it through a dangerous terrain. I love how they come out the other side stronger and knowing more about themselves. When I took this one on I thought that’s what I was getting. It started out promising enough, a woman kills her husband then flees the wrath of her brother in laws. She then finds herself on a journey to survive and to find a new life. I was pretty disappointed with this one. After about halfway through it just lost me and I had to struggle to finish it.

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

This is a new favorite. I absolutely loved this book. It’s very different from what I remember the movie being. Nonetheless, one of the best books I’ve ever read. I will say, I hated the character Melody. I wanted so badly for her to just die off. She is horrible! The old doctor was my favorite character. Wilbur Larch, in my opinion, is one the most noble characters in all of literature.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

WOW. Just wow. Such an amazing continuation of this series. This is number 5 in the Throne of Glass series and it just. keeps. getting. better. I already have the next book, we are going to find out what happens next, and I think I’m gonna lose my freaking mind over it. There’s so much to this story that it can’t be explained, you just have to read it. I haven’t loved a series like this since the Razorland Trilogy.

Those are all the books I’ve read so far this year. What books have you read lately?

How and Why Moms Should Make Self Care a Priority

The thing about being a mom is you are everything. You are the one who feeds the kids, bathes the kids, gets them dressed, puts them to bed, brushes their teeth, disciplines them, takes them to school. The list goes on. Yes there are dads out there who do these things too, but it mostly falls on the mom to take care of these things. On top of being a mom you have other obligations. You have a job, you have a house to maintain, you have friends, you have a spouse. All of these other things need your attention too. What do you do for yourself? Do you have something that you like to do that’s just for you? You should.

When you take care of others all the time it’s hard to remember to take care of yourself sometimes. Self care isn’t just a dream, it can be a reality. You’re not just a mom, you’re a human being. All humans have needs. One of those needs is time to ourselves. Another need is to relax and do things that make us happy. Yes, taking care of our family makes us happy, but it is not always easy and is really hard sometimes.

You are the rock of the family, whether you want to be or not. You hold everything together. It’s all on you, baby. Society has put so much on moms and we’re just supposed to accept it and go along. I don’t know about you, but I feel crazy sometimes. I need my space, I need peace and quiet, I need to do something without being interrupted 10 times. I can only take so much.

I know I’m not alone in this feeling. So here’s what we all need to do:

  1. Take a 20 minute bubble bath.
  2. Go for a walk ALONE.
  3. Leave the kids with your spouse for a couple hours.
  4. Put a movie on for the kids and read a book.
  5. Put the kids to bed early and watch a movie with your partner.
  6. Get your nails/hair/massage/facial done.
  7. Have a glass of wine after the kids go to bed.
  8. Take the kids to grandparents/aunts house then go home and take a nap.
  9. Have “quiet time”.
  10. Don’t feel guilty about doing any of those things.

Moms need to do things for themselves. They need to get away for a little bit. If you don’t take care of yourself, your kids and spouse will suffer for it. You cannot take care of someone else if you are not okay. You have to make yourself a priority sometimes so that you can completely take care of them.

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Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

Flash Fiction Friday: The Demon in the Compact Mirror

She lay on the bed, sore and bleeding. He took what he wanted and left scars to remind her. She knew she played a dangerous game every time she brought home a client. Still, it was a living.

This guy only paid her half. She would have to take an extra John tomorrow to make up for it, if she could walk. She tested the strength in her arms first, pushing herself up off the mattress. She was shaking. Her back ached. Her face hurt. Her inner thighs were definitely bruised.

She walked to the small bathroom in the back of the apartment. The building she resided in was older, it didn’t have hot water yet. Still, indoor plumbing was a modern marvel. At least she could rinse her ruined face in privacy. She changed her clothes and made her way out into the cloud filled morning. It was Sunday, she was going to visit her grandmother.

As she sat at her grandmother’s kitchen table, she could feel her halmoni’s gaze on her. She couldn’t look back at her, she knew there was only disappointment in those eyes. She fiddled with the end of her short skirt, another disappointment to the older generation sitting across from her.

“You look terrible.” Her grandmother said in their native tongue. “You are a shame to look at. Do you think this is why I brought you here? To this country?”

“Ani, halmeoni.” She replied, still looking down. She knew that her grandmother had made many sacrifices to bring her to America. She understood that immigrants like them were looked down on. That’s why it had been so hard for her to find work. The white, American men had a taste for girls like her, girls who were new and exotic. She made decent money. She also had a lot of scars, not all of them visible.

“It hurts me to see you like this,” her grandmother continued. “You have such a pretty face. It’s a shame to see it so bruised and defeated.” The girl finally looked up at her grandmother. There was so much sadness in the old woman’s face. “Here.” Her grandmother got up to retrieve something from her bedroom. The girl waited patiently for her to return.

When her grandmother returned she had a small object in her hand. “If you are ever in trouble again, just open this and say, ‘I release you.'” She gave the object to her granddaughter, it was a compact mirror. The girl gave her grandmother a confused look. Her grandmother only nodded grimly.

She left her grandmother’s apartment at sundown. She felt much better after having her grandmother’s cooking and hearing her talk about the past. She felt brighter, lighter even. She made her way down the dark alleys of New York. Gas lights still hung in this section of streets, not yet replaced by the electric light bulb. She kept her eyes wide, alert for any dangers that lurked in dark corners. She was almost to her own apartment when she heard a man’s voice behind her.

“What’s a pretty, little thing like you doing out here at this time?” He smiled at her, but it was not a kind smile. She ran. He caught up to her easily. He grabbed a fistful of her hair and threw her to the ground. She tried to crawl away but he kicked her in the ribs. She went down sobbing.

“We’re just going to have a little bit of fun.” His hand caressed her thigh, then made its way up her back side. She kept her face hidden, slowly reaching for the compact. He flipped her over. She kicked him square in the jaw. He swore viciously. She opened the compact and yelled, “Neo neol pul-eo jwo!” Everything went quiet. The man stopped suddenly and looked around in confusion.

Then the darkness grew. A heat wave came from the compact as it burst. the mirror was shattered. A dark, misty figure formed in front of her eyes and took shape. It was huge. It solidified and turned to her, its horned head many feet above her. It smiled at her. It knew she was the one to let it out. It turned to the man, who stood frozen to the spot. The demon grabbed him by the neck, unhinged it jaw and snapped the man’s head clean off in one bite. Blood sprayed and ran down the man’s neck. The body twitched and convulsed before going limp. She looked away as the demon completely consumed the rest of the man. She covered her ears to block out the sounds it made. After what seemed like forever she stood up and looked at what was left.

The demon was gone.

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Photo by Sam Pineda from Pexels

5 Study Habits That Work For Procrastinators

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I know the semester is coming to an end but I noticed a change in my study habits this semester. I am a horrible procrastinator and I needed to make a structured plan on how to get my work done, especially since we had to go to online classes. I was home schooled for most of my childhood so I’m familiar with the whole watch an hour lecture then do all the book work myself. That part isn’t difficult. In college, though, I’m in charge of making sure my assignments get done, not my mother and certainly not my professor. Here are a few things I tried out this semester that really worked and help me get my assignments done on time.

1. Set your assignment due date to a day early.

If you tell yourself your assignment is due a day before it actually is you give yourself a little wiggle room. I like to always turn my assignments in the day before it’s due so that I get it done sooner rather than later. I tell myself that the due date is too late and it gives me more of a sense of urgency.

2. Cut up your chapters.

If you have to read from your textbook break up the chapters. I always look through the chapter that’s assigned for the week, count how many pages I have to read and break it up by how many days I have to read it so I’m not trying to cram the whole chapter in one day. This way I don’t feel information overload and I absorb it better if I’m just reading for 20 minutes versus an hour.

3. Cut up your assignment.

Just as you break up your chapters, break up your assignments. Look at the instructions, see how many days you have to complete it and do a little bit of it each day, that way you feel like you’ve done something. It also helps because you aren’t thinking about it too much, you’re focusing on one part at a time. I get bored real quick so working in small parts helps me stay focused. I tell myself, “Just do this part and then you can watch tv.” It works for me, Okay?

4. Do you school work before doing anything else.

If you’re really good at doing anything and everything except your work then just get it out of the way first. Make it a point to do your little piece of homework before you do anything else. Think of it as your job. You get up and go to work then when you get off you get to do whatever you want.

5. Take it a week at a time.

Just plan it a week at a time. Usually semesters last 16 weeks. If you go just a week at a time it helps. If you know you have a test coming up or an assignment due on a certain date, make a plan a week before to do what needs to be done before those days are up.

Next week is the last week of my semester and I am ready for summer vacation. Mine will be shorter this year since I am taking a 4 week class in July before the fall semester starts, but that’s okay. Just two more semesters until graduation!

Why It’s Okay to Not Have Everything Figured Out

I wasted so much time in my early twenties trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. When you’re a kid, adults always ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer is I don’t know.

I didn’t know. There were a lot of things I liked to do, a lot of things I’m good at. But are those the things that I will do with my life? To make a living?

When I was 13 I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I love studying English and grammar and literature, I thought I could turn that love into a career. When I got older and realized that no one cares about those things like I do and the living wage of a teacher reflects that notion. People in this country just do not care about academics. They only care if they have to. What I mean by that is people who have to get a degree or certification in the field they want to go into.

That was the most discouraging thing about my deciding to give up the dream of being a teacher. Yes, it is a noble profession and I am so grateful for those who take it on. I cannot believe how poorly teachers are paid in this country. I just didn’t see it being a worthwhile career for me.

Without my dream of becoming a teacher I felt lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a long time. I would go back and forth on ideas for possible careers. There’s so much pressure to know what you want to do right out of high school. There’s so much pressure to make a good living, to be viewed as a successful human being. There’s not enough encouragement to young people to find what makes them happy, what makes them feel fulfilled.

I will be 30 in November and I am just now figuring out what I want to do. Yes, I beat myself up about not figuring it out sooner, but in your early twenties you don’t know what you want. You’re still young, you’re still discovering who you are. How are you supposed to know what to do with the rest of your life in the first 20 years? And who’s to say I’m right? What if I decide to change career paths in my forties?

I think we put too much pressure on ourselves. I think we should say it’s okay to not have it all figured out. We grow, we change, we want to do something new every now and again. And that’s okay.

“‘Finding yourself’ is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. ‘Finding yourself’ is actually returning to yourself. A remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.” -Emily McDowell

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Flash Fiction Friday: The Babysitter’s Surprise

It was about that time. The time all babysitters look forward to: bedtime. Alice was a good kid though, I never had any trouble out of her. She was a girly girl, and I am too. We spent our evening painting each other’s nails, braiding her hair and watching chick flicks. Age appropriate, of course.

I ordered pizza for dinner and was an instant hero. She loves me, what can I say? After a particularly saucy movie I announce it’s time for bed. She tries her usual persuasions to stay up but I stay strong. Her parents would be so proud. I walk her up to her room and tuck her into her bed.

“Will you tell me a story?” she asks, turning on the charm. I give her a knowing look with a smile. “Please?”

“Alright. Just one though. I have some homework to do once you’re asleep.” I was totally lying. I was going to raid the fridge and watch a horror movie.

“There once was a little girl who didn’t believe in monsters. Her babysitter assured her that they were real and that they lived in her closet. The little girl still didn’t believe the babysitter, even after the babysitter turned out the lights and said goodnight. But once the room grew quiet and the little girl was drifting off to sleep, she heard a sound coming from her closet. She got out of bed and slowly walked over to the closet. She grabbed the handle and waited, listening for more noises. She heard a scratching sound. She turned the knob slowly, the closet door creaked open.” I had her full attention at this point. “And just when she had the door open enough to peer in…A BIG FURRY MONSTER JUMPED OUT AND GOBBLED HER UP!” I grabbed her when I yelled. She squealed but quickly turned to giggles as I tickled her relentlessly. “Alright, now time for bed.”

“Don’t worry,” Alice reassured me, “There aren’t any monsters in the closet. Daddy keeps them all locked up in the basement.”

“Well that’s good.” I told her. “I would hate to come up here later and find a big, fat monster licking his chops.” I kissed her forehead and she snuggled into her blanket. She closed her eyes and said, “‘Night.”

“Goodnight.” I turned off the light and closed her door. I made my way down to the kitchen to get the ice cream I spied earlier.

As I was scanning the fridge for any extra treats, I heard a knocking noise coming from  down the hall. I shut the fridge and made my way over, thinking Alice had gotten out of bed. When I peered down the hall there was no one there. “Alice?” I called. “If you’re out of bed you’ll be in trouble.” I listened. Nothing. I shrugged and went back to hunting.

A sound came again from the hall. I was going to kill Alice if she was messing with me. I tiptoed down the dark hall so I didn’t let her know I was on to her. There was no movement. I listened. No sound. I stood there for a minute feeling stupid. Then there was a knock on the basement door. I turned slowly toward it. Really, Alice? I thought to myself, a knowing grin spreading across my face. She thought she was going to play a prank on me.

I slid over to the door and knocked back. Nothing. I was about to walk away when I heard a scratching sound. Using my own story against me, eh? I slowly turned the knob. The door creaked a bit as I pulled it open. Nice touch. I thought.

I looked into the darkness, there was nothing there. I shook my head. Just as I went to close the door again I heard a sound coming from the darkness. I stepped down a couple steps, reaching for the switch. I couldn’t find it in the dark but I knew it was there somewhere. Just as I was about to give up, I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. I froze in place. They were steady, heavy footsteps, too heavy for a seven year old to make. I couldn’t move my legs. They kept coming closer.

The last thing I saw before I passed out was a big, hairy thing licking its chops.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

 

How Are You?

This pandemic is just so crazy. This is not something I thought I would see in my lifetime, I guess no one expects something like this. It’s a very serious thing and I am so thankful that me, and my family, and everyone I know personally are fine and aren’t sick. I know that isn’t the reality for everyone and I could not imagine what they’re going through right now. It’s all so scary. When I go to the grocery store and see people in masks and gloves it’s an eerie feeling.

I’ve been doing my part by staying home and  keeping my children home, away from people. It’s been challenging but it’s worth it if we all stay healthy.

I really miss my family in Texas. I miss hugging people. I miss hanging out with my friends. When this is all over I want to go to Texas and see my family. I want to have a get together with my friends. I just want to hug them and never let them go.

I think, though, that staying at home has helped a little with my depression. I don’t feel so overwhelmed, I feel like the only thing we can do is wait. It’s out of our hands so we just have to wait. I’ve gotten better at that since I’ve gotten older. I’m not in such a hurry any more. I do think being at home has grated on my anxiety though. I had to start taking an extra dose, (per doctor’s orders) just to be able to fall asleep at night. Last night was the first night that I actually got quality sleep since the whole quarantine started.

I never realized how much I liked going to the store and just walking around. Or being able to go to the zoo on a nice day. I never realized how grateful I was for museums, libraries and playgrounds. My kids have been so bored and they have been driving me crazy. I’m so thankful that those kinds of things exist and cannot wait to go to them again when this is all over.

When this is all over I want to be away from my apartment as much as possible, at least for a while. I want to take the boys to see stuff, I want to spend time with people again, I want to go on road trips. This quarantine has taught me that we all need each other, but the only way to be with each other is to be apart right now. I just hold on to that. I tell myself that it will all be better if we just stay away from each other for a while. We want to be able to come out on the other side of this and hug each other without fear. It won’t be like this forever.

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments. How have you been handling this quarantine?

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Weird Laws in America

While in school to become a paralegal I have been doing a lot of research regarding the law. I have seen some cases and read the rules and learned some of their exceptions. My favorite thing so far, however, are all the silly or just plain weird laws I’ve come across. I thought I’d share some with you all. Here goes:

  1. In Florida, if you own, maintain or operate a commercial establishment that sells alcohol on the premises you will lose your license and be fined up to $1000 if you promote or permit any contests or recreational activities that could harm any persons with dwarfism. No dwarf throwing contests, guys. Fla. Stat. T. 34, Ch. 561, 665 (1989).
  2. In Louisiana, if you want to eat jambalaya in a public restaurant, be aware that preparing this staple dish in the traditional manner is not subject to any of the states sanitary codes. It is allowed to be served for public consumption and there’s no way of knowing what’s been put in it. La. Stat. T. 42, §4.2, 1977, No. 166, §1. 
  3. In Connecticut, you have to have a license to horde trash. Trash. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19-1, (1977 ).
  4. In Oklahoma, it is illegal to wrestle a bear. Why would you want to do that anyway? Have you seen The Revenant? Dude gets torn up! 21 Okla. St. Ann. § 1700.
  5. In California, Any person may possess any number of live frogs to use in frog-jumping contests, but if such a frog dies or is killed, it must be destroyed as soon as possible, and may not be eaten or otherwise used for any purpose. just wasteful.(1957) Cal. Stat. 6883. 
  6. In Minnesota, it is illegal to oil or grease a pig and then try to catch it. This is considered to be a misdemeanor. Is this your idea of fun, Minnesota? Minn. Stat. Ch. 343 § 36, 2013.
  7. In Nebraska, anyone who has a venereal disease is not allowed to get married. So if you want to get married, get tested. Also, don’t lie about having an STD, it’s tacky. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ch. 42, § 102, 1978.
  8. In Ohio, operators of coal mines must have an adequate supply of toilet paper provided with each toilet. This is a law, y’all. Ohio Rev. Law Title 15, Ch. 1563, § 23(H) 1995.
  9. In Texas, if you want to run for any state office position you gotta believe in the Lord. If not, you have to take a religious test. “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.” Tex. Const. Art. 1, § 4, (1972).
  10. In Wisconsin, the butter must have a highly pleasing butter flavor. Them folks love their butter. Wis. Stat. ATCP 85.03, (2017).

 

Well that was interesting to research. I couldn’t help but notice a lot of the crazy laws in this country involve animals…I tried to not have too many of those. What do you all think? What are some weird or ridiculous laws in your state that I didn’t cover? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Photo by Donald Tong from Pexels

The Many Jobs I’ve Had (There Have Been a Lot)

I once did a post on all the jobs I think would be fun to do. (It’s Jobs I’d Like to Try). Now I want to talk about all the jobs I’ve had, and let me tell you….it’s a lot.

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I’ve said it before, it’s hard for me to stay in one place. It’s not because I’m particularly flakey, I just don’t want to waste my time if I don’t feel like it’s what I want to do or if I don’t feel challenged anymore. There are people who are completely fine staying at one job for a long time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t think trying different jobs is a bad thing either. I have so much experience in so many different areas I see it as an asset. Anyway, let me just tell you guys what you came to read about.

1st job: Cashier-Academy Sports and Outdoors.

My first job I got when I was 16. I worked there for about a year and a half. I worked full time because I was homeschooled and could do that. I goofed off a lot. I met one of my best friends there and we’re still friends to this day. I met a boy there who was my first heartbreak. I also met my ex-husband while working there.

2. Waitress-Fusion Cafe

I took a server job at a family owned Korean restaurant over a semester when I was 16. I worked there the same time I worked at Academy. The owner of the restaurant’s daughter, who was normally their server, went off to college and they needed someone to fill in for her. I went to Tae Kwon Do with their youngest child, who was younger than me, and they asked me if I would do it. It was fun but I got tired of it. I never felt like I worked hard enough for her liking and I also just wanted to not have two jobs at 16.

3. Cashier-Circuit City

Circuit City has since gone out of business and I only worked there for a month or two. I got the job there because I left Academy rather abruptly. I think at the time I thought I was going to get fired so I quit before that could happen. I didn’t have any reason to feel this way but I did. I didn’t like Circuit City and I ended up leaving there without notice because my family and I moved back to Texas.

4. Server-Golden Corral

Golden Corral is a buffet style restaurant and I’m pretty sure I worked at the grossest one in Texas. The manager was absolutely horrible. She was definitely on a power trip. I left after two months when I called in sick because I had a stomach bug and she said I either showed up for work or found another job. So I found another job.

5. Cashier-Brookshire Brothers

I lasted at this one for 9 months. I met some really fun people there but once again I had a horrible boss. This place is a grocery store, and the managers ran it like it was their very own kingdom. One manager in particular would just push you so far off the edge with his criticism he made several cashiers cry, including me. I believe this was also the very first job that required me to take a drug test.

6. Cashier-Hobby Lobby

After I left Brookshire Brothers I moved back to Oklahoma. I have been here ever since. The year was 2009 and I had heard that they were paying Hobby Lobby employees $10 and hour, which at the time was a lot for me. What I didn’t know was they were only paying that to full time employees. I ended up a part time employee with the promise that if I did well I could get a full time position as soon as one opens. Well that never happened. Every time one came open someone else would get it. Someone who was older than I was. I was only 19 at the time. A new store had opened and I put in to transfer over there. The manager there gave me a position but could only give me full time hours but not full time pay. It was at that point I started going to college.

7. Teacher Assistant-La Petite Academy

After attending school for a bit I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I applied at a daycare and got the position. I was making only slightly more than I was at Hobby Lobby but I was at least getting experience with children. I had babysat some when I was a teenagers but that was nothing compared to a room full of little kids running crazy everywhere. I was 20 years old and had absolutely no training. They basically just taught me CPR and what to do in case of a tornado and that we were not allowed to discipline the children in any way. That was it, I was in way over my head. I had my first experience with panic attacks. I think i was only there for two months. They weren’t happy with my work performance but they wouldn’t give me any tips or help me in anyway. I walked out.

8. Order Picker-Hobby Lobby Warehouse

I was married to my ex-husband at this point in my life and he had a job at Hobby Lobby’s corporate warehouse. He got me a job there as well and I started making more money than I ever had. It was very physical work and I got really strong after working there a while. After a few months I transferred departments. I started doing inventory control. That was when I was sent to work in another building where I met my second (and current) husband. I eventually got fired from that job because I got caught in the middle of a manager feud and lost. Right about the time I got fired I was also going through a divorce and I ended up dropping out of college.

9. Title Clerk-Quail Tag Agency

At this point my ex-husband and I were divorced and I was living with my current husband, we weren’t married yet. I had to find a new job since I had just been fired from the last one and I had always wanted to work in a tag agency. A tag agency is Oklahoma’s second branch of the DMV. You get your vehicle registration, driver’s license, car title transfers, etc. there. I was one of the clerks who filed the paperwork on all those things with the state and took payment and all the things you do in an office. I really loved that job. I loved the paperwork, the laws, the boss. The best boss I have ever have was there and I still love her. She is a very special person. The reason I left was because Marc and I had bought our fist home and it was 45 minutes away from the tag agency and I needed a job closer to home.

10. Cashier-Ulta

For a brief time, while I also worked at the tag agency, I also worked at Ulta. I was trying to make some extra money because Marc and I were trying to buy a house. I wasn’t there for very long because I soon realized I was spending my whole paycheck there. I love makeup and it just wasn’t a good place for me to work.

11. Service Cashier-Frontier Chevrolet

After leaving the tag agency I went to work at a Chevy dealership in the service department. I basically took money for services and input all the data for what was done for each vehicle, tallied payroll and filed paperwork. Oh and answered phones. I liked the job but I felt like the lady who trained me didn’t like the way I id things. She was set to retire after she got me completely trained but man she was bitter about it. The best part about this job was that it was 5 minutes from my house. I worked there full time but after being there a while I decided I needed to go back to school.

12. Nanny

I left the dealership and went back to school. I also became a full time babysitter for my brother and sister in law. I got the kids up for school and took care of the baby. It was short lived though because I needed to make more money so I found another job.

13. Customer Service-Hahn Appliance

This job lasted 7 months. I was hired on a temporary status and was told after 6 months I would be hired permanently an given a raise. That didn’t happen. They kept putting it off and I got tired of not knowing if they were going to keep me or not. Not to mention I was the one that customers called to complain about stuff. Getting cussed out gets really old, real quick. And the managers didn’t really help you.

14. Book Binder-Tate Publishing

This was another warehouse/distribution type job. I was at this job the longest and made the most I’ve ever made, it was also my first salaried job. I started out part time in the CD room packaging CDs. Then I became a full time book binder. I always bound way more books than I was supposed to, but the machines broke down a lot so I would never get a bonus. It was when I was working at this job that I had my first child and was able to switch to the evening shift to work opposite my husband to save money on childcare. That company was really small and they ended up committing a lot of criminal activity behind the scenes. The company finally went out of business when several lawsuits were filed against the company and the owners. We were all out of a job.

15. Patient Care Coordinator-Dental Depot

I got this job thanks to my connections, a friend of mine was once a dental hygienist for this company. I wasn’t here long because at this point I had a little one and I couldn’t work the schedule they needed me to work. We couldn’t afford childcare and we didn’t have a very reliable one. I really liked that job though. I also had dropped out of college again because we had a baby.

16. Server-Charleston’s

This is my least favorite job. I hate being a server. It’s just not for me. And I didn’t feel like I fit in with my coworkers. They were all young college students and I was a mom and married. I didn’t feel like I could relate to them. I finally left after 6 months because I was so over it. I do not want to be a server ever again.

17. Cashier-Lowe’s Home Improvement

Back to the beginning. At least that’s how I felt. It was at this job that I became pregnant with my second child. I was a very grumpy pregnant lady. It was summer time and I was hot and angry all the time. I went back to work there after I had the baby and ended up working in the back unloading freight. I enjoyed that work because I was constantly busy but the guys I worked with were very unmotivated and it took way too long to unload the truck every night. I went back to being a cashier when I hurt my shoulder. That stuff was heavy and I was done. I eventually left.

18. Seasonal Warehouse Associate-Amazon

I only ended up working here for two months. I was considered temporary but was told I could potentially have a permanent position after the busy season was over. Well they lied and got rid of all the seasonal employees. I was once again, jobless. At this point I decided to stay home with the kids for a while.

19. Cashier-Bass Pro Shops

This is my current job, although I’m currently on furlough due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m back in school and will definitely be finishing it this time. I graduate in May 2021. I plan to start looking for a job in a law office very soon so that I can get my foot in the door so that when I graduate and become a licensed paralegal I will be all set.

Other: I also sold Mary Kay products for a while and had my own handmade jewelry business for a bit. Both were not successful and I lost money on both deals.

I’ve been working for almost 14 years and have had 19 different jobs. I feel like that’s crazy. Is that crazy? Let me know in the comments!