Handout v. Support

Last week I posted a report on the Wylie Youth Council which was formed by Wylie Councilman Bennie Jones.  The Wylie Tea Party had asked Councilman Jones to be a guest speaker at their last meeting. Shortly after my post, I received some comments and emails of concern.  One particular email stands out above all others because the person called Mr. Jones, “A bleeding heart liberal.”  I am not so certain Councilman Jones is a bleeding heart liberal so much as I believe he wants to better the lives of children.  After all, that was the platform that he ran on for City Council. 

“Let me point out something else while I’m at it, (no, my anger is not directed to you – it’s directed to the bleeding heart liberal). The minorities in our society are already handed everything on a silver platter, including COLLEGE TUITION!  I know this firsthand!!  My niece was married to a Mexican. They both applied for government grants.  She was denied, although her family was always below the poverty line.  HE got full tuition.  Did he use it? Hell no. Would he allow his white wife to use it? Hell no.  He blew the money – then divorced my niece.” 

OK, so this statement might sound a bit racist, but if you look at the numbers that back up these statements, the reality lived over and over again is that the minorities might potentially receive more support from Jones’ group than Caucasians. Though there is a fine line between handouts and support, if Jones wishes to support the children, how does he create a program that does not look like another liberal-backed handout for the minorities?  The minorities make up a hefty percentage of the underprivileged within Wylie.  Let us go back and analyze the facts I presented in a previous post about illegal aliens in Wylie.  According to WISD’s Economically Disadvantaged Students by Sex and Ethnicity report for 2011-2012:

Total number of students in WISD = 12,937

Hispanic/Latino 1131 Free, 215 Reduced-Price = 10.4%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 34 Free, 6 Reduced-Price = .3%
Asian 199 Free, 64 Reduced-Price = 2%
Black/African American 568 Free, 141 Reduced-Price = 5.4%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 11 Free, 1 Reduced-Price = .09%
Two or More Races 50 Free, 4 Reduced-Price = .4%

White 838 Free, 285 Reduced-Price = 8.6%

There are 2424 minority students or 18.7% of the student population on the free or reduced meal plan within WISD as of October 2011.  There are 1123 white students or 8.6%.  We know from the TAKS tests that the minority students do not fare as well as white students.  http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/cgi/sas/broker According to the 2011 District Accountability Data Tables for Wylie:

Reading/ELA All Students 94%, Economically Disadvantaged 89%
Writing All Students 95%, Economically Disadvantaged 93%
Social Studies All Students 96%, Economically Disadvantaged 92%
Mathematics All Students 90%, Economically Disadvantaged 84%
Science All Students 89%, Economically Disadvantaged 81%

According to the TEA Snapshot for 2010 http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/cgi/sas/broker only 79% of African American students and 80% of Hispanic students were passing their grades in contrast with 88% White students passing. 

What do all these facts and figures represent?  After I received the email above, I called the individual who sent it to me for further clarification.  That individual said that they have seen these programs started over and over again and they end up helping only the minorities.  Given the statistics above, these will indeed be the students that would benefit from the Wylie Youth Council.  Or would they?  In my research, I discovered one tidbit of information that I found might just be a saving grace for this program. 

According to the 2011 District Accountability Data Tables for Wylie.  Last year, 25 total students dropped out of high school.  Of those, 6 were African American, 6 were Hispanic, and 10 were white. From what I can see, if Bennie wishes to help the students complete high school and become upstanding citizens within the community, his best bet is to go after those who are considering dropping out of school.   In this case the minority to white ratio was a lot closer to 50/50 than one might expect given the scholastic records above.  Twelve were minority and 10 were white.  If the Wylie Youth Council focuses on those students, I wonder if the complainant above would be able to claim this program will end up only helping the minorities. 

I have one final comment that I received about my report on the Wylie Youth Council.  An individual stated, “I don’t care to hear the words, “It takes a village” from Mr. Hillary Clinton-Jones. His goal may be noble, but from what I’m reading here, he seems to be just like Obama on social issues – a socialist.”  Well that was cause for pause. If Jones is a socialist/liberal, then why didn’t he vote to approve the Planet Kidz program that was being pimped to city council over the last two council meetings?  It was because he, like the other council members, does not feel it is the City’s job to raise everyone’s children for them.  Conservative dogma to be certain. 

Statistically, African American’s vote toward the liberal side of politics.  It must be a bitch being a conservative black person; ask Herman Cain, Colin Powell, and Condoleeza Rice who have taken their share of potshots for allegedly selling out their heritage, and more locally Katrina Pierson who is the spokesperson for the Dallas Tea Party.  All bets on, I will ante up Jones as wanting to be a conservative, but raise that it must be difficult for him to overcome liberal ancestral roots.

Where does that leave us?  My New Year’s wish is that the Wylie Youth Council turns out to be student led, more like the Boy and Girl Scouts where the children spend their time doing the bulk of mentoring, that the program seeks out those students who are about to drop out of high school, that the students helped are a good racial mix, and that the council may never ask for a handout from the City Council.

Only time will tell if this program ends up helping all students equally, or if it becomes another socialist program. 

Gingrich Gaff?

Did Newt Gingrich make a huge gaff at the CNN GOP Debate on National Security last night or was it a smart play for the Latino vote?  Perhaps both.

The more I hear the Newt speak, the more I like his no-nonsense style which is ultra-reminiscent to me of the Ronald Reagan 'tude when he ran.  Though Gingrich comes with his own set of issues (don’t they all) he does have quite a bit of experience which is something we are lacking from our current administration.  Some commentators don’t care for Gingrich, calling him a prick, but I fail to see how he is any more of an arrogant prick than I have witnessed in Obama over the years. He also comes with quite a bit of brainpower and I think we need smart and strong.  Sometimes I feel like Obama and Biden are eerily similar to Gilligan and The Skipper.

Is Gingrich clever in going after the Latino vote?  Yes.  Though they are currently a majority minority in Texas, those here legally will eventually get act together and begin voting in steadily increasing numbers. This is only a matter of time. There will be a voice in America for Latinos and I often wonder if they are more important than the dreaded ‘independents’ at times.

When asked about illegal immigration, Gingrich’s answer prompted a huge Ring around the Rosie game of Amnesty.  Ugh, I feel dirty even saying the word however I am not na├»ve enough to think that we can simply march 14 million people out of the country.  Can you imagine the riots?  Does anyone think they will leave peacefully?  We don’t even have enough jail space for our current criminals, how could we possibly find holding cells for all of the lawbreakers in the Great Illegal Roundup? 

If you have read my past posts, you will know that I am vehemently opposed to all the handouts to illegal immigrants currently sucking up our tax dollars.  The following information comes directly from a speech State Representative Jodie Laubenberg gave at the last meeting of the Barbara Bush Republican Women’s Group.

The Border Problem
-        About 25 percent of the federal prison population in 2010 was comprised of 55,000 foreign nationals.

-        The average incarcerated alien had seven arrests and committed an average of 12 offenses. Twenty-five percent of the aliens had 16 or more offenses.

-        In 2009 the Federal government spent about $1.3 billion for incarcerating aliens in federal prisons, and another $323 million partially reimbursing states for their costs.

-        An estimated 9,000 illegal immigrants are in TDCJ custody.  Texas spends $13.5 million each month to hold illegal immigrants serving their sentences or awaiting deportation.

-        Three-quarters of all aliens who come into the U.S. from terrorist countries are captured along the border in Texas.

-        Federation for American Immigration Reform's "Cost of Illegal Immigration to Texans" (2005)
·        Cost of over $4.7 Billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration.

·        Taking into account estimated tax contributions, this number is at $3.7 billion or $725 per native Texan household. (Then-Comptroller Strayhorn said this report was wrong).

·        2010 Update: $8.878 Billion cost per year.

-        Texas HHSC “Report to the United States Congress on Services and Benefits Provided to Undocumented Immigrants.”(2010 Update)
·        Report covers only health-related benefits for HHSC and public hospital districts.

·        HHSC's Estimated cost for 2009 - $96 Million.

·        Public Hospitals' Estimated Cost for 2009 - $717 Million.

These numbers are a crime literally and figuratively!  With figures like these, you can see why Illegal Immigration is such a hot issue.  We’re going broke financially and emotionally from this burden.

Was Gingrich kowtowing to the Latino vote?  Perhaps yes, but I think part of him realizes what we should all be able to see, that it will be ridiculously impossible to remove that many people and frankly, it would be inhumane to break up families that have been here who hold deep community ties.  Do I wish we could toss every one of the freeloaders out on their ass?  Yes, but I also see some dollar signs flashing in front of my eyes.  If they stay, we need to find a way to fine and tax the crap out of them for the financial hole they have created in this country and in our states.

So how do we handle the situation?  Here is what my little TXun mind can come up with on short notice:

Close the border; it’s not that hard

Stop the freebies; many will leave

Send back those who are incarcerated; we don’t want them

Enforce a strict fine on those who wish to remain; they should be fined like anyone caught breaking the law and if they cannot pay, we don’t want them

Employ a stringent vetting process; remove those who recently came here and have no ties as well as those who are incapable of becoming productive, employable, tax paying citizens

Simplistic?  Probably, but somehow I think the average American citizen can come up with a better plan than what is being done now, which is relatively nothing.  The problem has been ignored for far too long.

As for an update on my short list. Ron Paul’s seclusionary policies scare the bile out of me, Perry’s and Romney’s flip-flop practices annoy me to a pucker, Bachman and Santorum simply won’t win and don’t hold my attention, Huntsman is worth a once-over, and Cain may have proven himself fairly clueless recently.

My short list today:  Gingrich, Cain.  Again, that list can and probably will change so stay tuned.  I'm fickle like that.

Are WASA Crackers?

Well I’m not surprised.  I opened this week’s edition of the Wylie News and there is a sniveling Letter to the Editor asking for money from the Wylie City Council.  Jal Dennis wrote a letter asking for a $15,000 donation toward WASA, or Wylie Advocate for Senior Activities.  Did I say asking?  Actually it was more like a Terrible Twos demand.  It’s not as though the seniors are not appreciated; their generosity, leadership, and wisdom have been and are great assets to the community.  What irks the pants off me is that they have their hands out yet again, to the wrong entity.  I can just feel their WASA eyeballs burning my skin at the next council meeting. 

To paraphrase conversations I’ve had with both Wylie City Councilman Bennie Jones and Wylie Mayor Pro Tem Red Byboth on similar topics, “I’m sick to death of people who always have their hands out.”  To be honest, I’m sick of it too.  Who do they think they are pulling the age card and whining that, “Wylie does a lot of things for youth and middle-aged, but the efforts of our city to support our senior citizens is pitiful.”  Really?  Is Dennis living in the same city I am?  The City’s job is to provide for essential services for ALL citizens, not to provide for only certain citizens the use of special amenities.  The parks are for all citizens because they offer much needed green space and are open and available to ALL citizens whether you use them or not. 

Wasn’t it enough that the City of Wylie handed WASA a building entirely gratis? I’ll have you know that free building they received pays no property tax either.  Should we find out what the last appraisal on that property was?  What a freaking gift!  Yet they come back with their hands out asking for more?  They didn’t even mince words or play games, the letter simply demanded, “Please give the WASA organization a donation of $15,000 immediately.”  Well at least Dennis said ‘please’.  Cheeky devil.

As much as the community understands that the seniors are the people that vote, telling the community in a hear ye, hear ye style Letter to the Editor that the community doesn’t care about the seniors is just an attempt to incite riot, or pity, or both, but ultimately just nets them more apathy.  The Senior Center only serves a fraction of the population within Wylie.  It is not the City’s job to provide certain groups with amenities that, let’s face it are not a necessity in this down economy.  Ask the community members and companies for donations, not the City.  It’s not the City’s job to fund you or your freebie building.

Someone once mentioned to me that once the City handed over that old Library building to the seniors, the sucking sound would never stop.  Yup, they were right; this Letter to the Editor pretty much sucked.

My Rebuttal

After my last report, I've had some time to let the meeting with Councilman Bennie Jones sink in and I've also received some feedback from readers on his Youth Council.  Since it is near the holidays, my time is a bit limited but I will be posting some thoughts on the Youth Council in the next day or so.  

Today I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and if you are thinking about a Black Friday jaunt to the stores, please think locally and support our local businesses. For me, it will be a long hike on what is expected to be a gorgeous day because I don't want to stand in line with a bunch of strangers for cheap crap from China that I don't really need.


Wylie Youth Council

Last Thursday the Wylie Tea Party invited guest speaker, Wylie City Councilman Bennie Jones to speak about the Wylie Youth Council.  This is a non-profit group he formed to provide mentoring services to the youth of Wylie.  The focus of the Council is to, “Empower families and children to make sound choices and achieve promising futures.”  This sounds like a daunting task, however Councilman Jones is up for the challenge.

Jones introduced an 11 year old boy who will be a spokesperson for The Wylie Youth Council.  This boy’s inspiring story of overcoming a bone marrow disorder and ultimately finding a deep love of reptiles inspired everyone at the meeting.   The boy’s family spoke about how he is a prime candidate for membership of the Wylie Youth Council, though he is not one of the top students in his class, he is a hard worker and has a unique passion for life.  The Council’s goal is to reward the efforts of those students 6th to 12th grade who are not A/B students and are often forgotten by society. 

The community generally fawns over the premier students and athletes in our community.  Scholarships are available to the top students and athletes.  All too often the average student is forgotten.  Councilman Jones recognized this as a problem which might actually serve to push these students toward less than desirable lifestyles and poor choices later down the road.  By grasping their attention and imaginations now through mentoring programs, guest speakers, and hands-on activities his hope is to instill in them a desire to be all that they can be. 

Jones stated though his desire is for our students to graduate and complete college, it is not necessarily the best choice for everyone and we must accept and embrace that choice.  Society will still be in need of plumbers, electricians, and tradesmen.  The students will get hands-on experience with multiple career offerings held by people actually working in those fields.  Jones hopes to set up visits by Wylie citizens working in fields from veterinary technician and plumber to doctor and accountant.  He also hopes to be able to offer the students scholarships to not only colleges, but to trade schools as well. 

The idea behind the Wylie Youth Council is that citizens help support the program by volunteering their talents.  One of the volunteer positions the group will need soon will be tutors.  He would also like adults and students with a special talent, to offer to teach that talent to the students.  With the students mentoring each other, it offers unique opportunities for peers to build strength as future leaders in their chosen fields.

Jones also brought up the topic of his own son’s troubles with the law in the past.  He made sure to step in as soon as the problems became apparent and show his son there are indeed consequences to actions.  He was proud to report his son is currently holding nearly a 4.0 GPA at college now and hopes his son has learned a valuable lesson.

Jones has embraced the idea, “It takes a village,” and has used that idea to form this group in hopes that average students in need of additional support will get it from adults and peers.  Jones assured Tea Party members that all adults associated with the program will have complete background checks and that safety of the students will be a number one priority. 

If you wish to get involved, check out the website at:

If you have further questions about the program or would like to make a donation or offer to volunteer, you may contact Bennie Jones at: 

Wylie Youth Council
120 E. FM 544
Ste 72, Number 141
Murphy, TX   75094
Tele: 469.236.9622
Email: wylieyouthcouncil@yahoo.com

Texas Woman Folklore

Here is another post from my personal blog.  If you get my humor, and I would guess by now anyone who has continued to read my blog does, you will find this one equally as entertaining.
I always thought stereotypes were a bunch of bunk and the typical Texas woman remained enshrined in folklore only.  That is until the day I stopped by Nanny Granny’s Antiques in downtown Plano, Texas.

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my very own eyes.  There stood Granny’s fanny facing the door as she hunched over the glass goods case.  This was truly a triple-take in the making.  Had there been music playing, I am confident her backside would have been provocatively swaying on beat.  From behind, she had a cute little figure, in her platform wedge shoes and spandex leopard print pants, and then she stood up and turned around.  There she was, granny herself.  Amazingly she balanced a ginormous blonde bouffant from which kitschy dangling earrings and bright red lipstick appeared.  As my gaze continued down this bizarre caricature, I noticed a light pink gauzy, yet oh so clingy sweater that allowed her black, lacy push up bra to glare through.  At the tips of her dainty fingers were dragon nails that brought back nightmares of the Solid Gold Dancers back in the 70s.   My eyes finally rested on the huge bauble she had anchored around her neck.  I wondered just how that tiny neck could hold such a thing without C6 and C7 bulging discs.  In all her glory, there she stood before me.  The elusive Texas hussy of folklore does indeed exist. 

Let’s contrast this starkly with the typical Michigan woman.

The last time I was in Michigan, I picked up some airplane reads at the Wal-Mart near my sister’s house.  There is one thing you can count on with Wal-Mart; they are the same everywhere you go.  Shopping there that day made me realize just how friendly folks in the south truly are, well usually.  I placed my items on the belt behind another woman, careful not to touch her divider because heavens, I wouldn’t want to cause a scene. You know how combative Yankee women are about their stuff.  Sheesh, we could have had a knockdown, drag out fight right there in the supermarket had my items touched hers on that belt.   When it was my turn, the woman behind the register looked at me. Really.  She just stood there and looked at me.  I glance left and right and then look back at her, defying her to say something smart.  When she saw I was not quite getting it, she impatiently said, “Move it down.”  Well I was already in front of her so I could only surmise she was referring to my reads and snacks.  Plainly she was too lazy to press the little button.  You know the one; the button that miraculously moves the belt and sends my stuff on its way through her hands, over the scanner, in the bag, and finally into my cart.  It is the very same belt in Texas that makes me cringe every time I see my bread careening to the end with large cans of stewed tomatoes not far behind. You would think I learned by now that the belt seems to stick in the ‘on’ position and not only do my cans smash the bread, there is always a case of soda poised to finish the job properly.  In Michigan, you can count on two things: the Michigan woman will always be ready for a good fight, and you will never see Granny’s fanny perched ’eff-me’ style over the glass counter.     

I am not especially a people watcher, preferring to ignore them rather than have to bother engaging myself.  As easy as it is to ignore people at the post office or restaurant, that talent seems to escape me at the local big box stores where I am left in a perpetual state of head-scratching and WTFs.

I saw an old friend at the local Wally World once and we stopped to chat. I was especially careful to move my cart out of the way because I dislike when people block the aisle.  I always wonder if they are really that spatially unaware or if it’s an act.   We were not visiting more than 30 seconds, and as I leaned on my cart my companion’s eyes grew very large.  Before I could turn around to see why, a woman grabbed my cart and shoved it hard across the aisle with my elbow still attached to it.  By the time I recovered, she was huffing back down the aisle to her red-faced husband and round-eyed son.   Good thing my friend’s 5 year old daughter was there because, being the little Detroit gal I am, I would have verbally b-slapped the eyeballs out of that woman.   So much for Texas friendly.

Don't Fence Me In

I thought I would share a post from my personal blog in which I write about the joys of being a Yankee living in the South.  I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 When you live in Dallas, you hear the same saying over again, “Tall fences make good neighbors.”  I had always heard Texas was a friendly state.  When I moved here I wondered why people would want to purposely blot out their neighbors.  That all changed when I moved to my little community.  

On my countryside traipses to and fro searching for a suitable school district, I passed the quaint and rustic downtown area of Wylie, Texas.  It was the proverbial love at first sight.  Who could resist the sweet little park with gazebo, antique shopping, and the candle shop that makes your mouth water half way down the street as the cacophony of melded scents tickle your nose? Most important, who could resist the sinfully rich Shoemaker and Hardt and their old fashioned candy jars, pop guns, antiques, and creamy, flavored coffees? I simply knew I must call this place home.  

It was a short month after the house was built that I began to notice the underpinnings that Wylie was merely a bubba magnet in drag.  I couldn’t believe my eyes, but it was true!  Though only a 15 minute drive from the metropolis of Plano, Wylie was really Bubbaville painted in rustic cuteness.

I grew up in a neighborhood with sprawling, manicured lawns and the homes were usually on some amount of land so you didn’t have to listen to your neighbors music through the walls.  Frankly, the idea of all these ugly, grey, rotting fences circling every backyard was just plain repulsive.

It wasn’t until I moved to little ‘ole Wylie in 2001 that I discovered just how obsessively attached I have become with my fence, and how utterly naked I feel when he isn’t there.  Like an old friend, his unwavering protective arm folds around my lovely garden.

It all began the year the house was built.  The neighbor across our alley had what became known to me as Devil Dog chained to their fence in the back yard.  I couldn’t quite get the connection with chaining an Old Yeller type of dog to a wobbly fence until I witnessed the first big spring storm and watched that dog drag the gate and two 6’ fence panels across the driveway.  As you might guess, several storms later the gate was pretty much hosed.  

Not only was the dog terrified of thunderstorms, he was none too happy about these new neighbors who took away his nice grassy field.  From the day we moved in, that dog barked and wouldn’t stop no matter how many times animal control was called.  I guessed our neighbors must be deaf because they did not appear to hear him.  The new neighbors on our right were celebrating the birth of their first child and one evening during a particularly raucous barking session, the woman, in what can only be described as a rage of post-partum hormones, ripped open the window and screamed at the dog with a shrill I’ve only heard once before in my life when I cut my finger off in the door, “Shut the f#%k up!”

One must wonder what would possess people to chain up their dog like that, especially in Texas where 101 degrees in August is actually a cool front.  Then I began to notice that not only did she have the two kids who came out of the house to feed and water the dog every so often, the woman actually had a baseball team of them, and she had a midwife deliver every single one of them, and she home schools them.  Seriously.

Soon those chitlins began to grow and this brought about a whole new level of fun and excitement for my household. My son and I were home with the flu once and I heard a banging sound.  I discovered the little darlin’s were shooting hoops and hitting my roof and house with their ball.  With a 102 degree fire burning me from the inside out, I yelled at them to get off my property.  OK, so perhaps I was a tad more colorful than that.  Do you know those little anti-social brats kept coming back day after day?  Was I not forceful enough?  Did I not give them 'the look'? Was I not cussing in English? Oh, perhaps they really ARE deaf.  I fixed them.  I moved that pole just inside my trusty fence.  Who knew the bane of my existence would actually prove useful? If they played, the ball would be forever gone.  I sold them their balls back at the next garage sale.

Five years into proud fence ownership I was feeling a bit special, my fence still looked new and fresh thanks to the two coats of stain applied in year one. I just knew the neighbors must have a bad case of fence envy because mine wasn’t sporting that ugly grey patina like all the others.  Then it came; the year from hell. Since all the other fences had dried and shriveled, they let air flow through nicely.  Not mine.  My well-fed and manicured slats were still nice and chubby.  

It all began in February with a 70 mph sand storm that scoured the fence, ending in a spring storm with raging 80-100 mph straight line winds.  There is nothing quite like watching Mother Nature blow away the only security blanket you’ve known in five years, that ho.  Perish the thought of sharing my Sunday morning ritual of coffee and jammies on the patio with the prying eyes of bubbas all around me.  

Last spring the focus swiftly moved from the litter of kids to bubba, Jr. who lives next to them.  He moved into my cross-hairs the first day of spring break when I drove up the alley and saw my fence on fire.  I ran wild-eyed to the hose to save it. 

My ire at the anti-social, deaf kids suddenly refocused upon the house with the kid who climbs upon the roof and leaves the 2nd story performing the uber coolest ninja jumps possible while holding a blade in hand.  Might I say impalement would be too good a fate?

I should have known I had a bubba on hand when I watched the father hold bubba-mini by the feet and swing his head down toward the cement to scare him, the ass-clown.  There’s just something oh so sexy about a big fuzzy man in a peek-a-boo jersey tank, torn gym shorts and tube socks.  Oy.

Three years ago they had a flood upstairs in their house when little bubba plugged the toilet before they left on a two week vacation.  Surprise. They took that insurance money and bought a new motorcycle and the two motortubbies took off for a multi-week ride to the Northwest.  I did my own personal happy dance when those cherub-faced Lucifers were sent to grandma’s house. 

 Meanwhile, their house was gutted with only cement floor and studs.  Yup, their momma once told me while standing in the driveway in her muumuu and bare feet (because the garage was too full of Sheetrock), that she only smokes outside because she doesn’t want her husband to know she smokes. This must be a testament to the fact the man hasn’t touched her in years, let alone kissed that ashtray mouth. "I don’t know where those cigarette butts are coming from Bobby Joe, honest." Damn bubbette. The house stood barren for the next 2 years.

I dreaded the day it would happen, but she got herself a job at the local hardware store.  I knew nothing good could come from leaving Bonnie and Clyde home alone for hours.  I had to call the police on them last year when the bubbaboy was standing in the backyard shooting his pellet gun at the back of my fence.  The neighbor next to us watches children in the afternoon and she told me he does that when her kids are in the backyard playing too.  The policeman stood in the neighbor's kitchen and witnessed the sheer genius unfold before him.  When he knocked on their door, muumuu momma denied the whole thing saying her little bubbacub was in the house.  Well, of course.  Incredible thing is, I had only months prior posted the warning signs that our house was under video surveillance.  When the police knocked I was armed with photos saved to USB drive.

Last month, my fence received yet another wound when our annual spring storms blew through.  This time it was our gate’s turn to fly hand in hand with two 6’ panels across our driveway. Awesomeness.

People are beginning to replace their fences now, and to be honest it is about time. This time I am the one with fence envy but I’ll be damned if I am going to replace the fence.  Those people can just stare at the back of my ugly, grey fence full of airgun pock marks as they jump off their roof with cigarette in hand.  Three more years and after the final graduation party the Realtor sign will be stabbed into the lawn.  I would venture to guess 40 fenceless acres would just about cover it.