Minimal Parenting State of Frustration

Come on down folks!

You can carry concealed weapons with no license AND it’s a Minimal Parenting State!


My frustration level today was at a full Spinal Tap 11.

I had my annual property inspection this morning.

All went well. Considering I’m a goody two shoes and have been cleaning like an OCD queen for a year, there wasn’t really any doubt about that.

Feels intrusive though – taking photos of every room – my bedroom, all my precious things.  (almost expected them to bring in a table with stirrups for a full examination)  The bathrooms – our towels and toiletries.  Even Butters!!!

Don’t get me wrong, the people who manage the property I live in are really nice. I also understand why the homeowner is well within his or her right to know what condition their investment is in.

I’m just saying the inspection itself feels like a cell check. A reminder that where you are is not yours – and someone else has a set of keys and a set of rules.

cell check

Speaking of rules.

This was also my time to mention anything that needed fixing etc.

Well, other than some minor items, an obvious thing that needs fixing is the behavior of ‘the neighbors’.

Both homes are owned by the same person and managed by the same company.

I brought up recent events (the dog’s appearance, the witnessed dog abuse, the traffic/drug-likelihood continuance, yelling at the children)

I bring it up because I can’t escape it!

I’m no Mrs. Kravitz!!  I’m not a ‘Curtain Twitcher’ (as my Nannie would say)

nosey neighbor

Every room I spend a lot of time in (kitchen, living room, bedroom) have windows directly facing ‘them’.

Walls are thin – I hear every car, every verbal barb from my couch – I assure you, I am not pressed against the wall with my ear to a cup.

I cannot enjoy the sanctuary that ‘home’ should be with the uncomfortable dysfunction constantly on display.


Fast forward.

I told the inspector that I was done.

It doesn’t seem fair that I follow the rules, and can’t enjoy my home to the fullest.

I received an email at work from the landlord.

She was going to call CPS and if they did not renew the tenancy, would I consider staying?


Yeah – of course. (I actually wasn’t intending to leave.)

The yard is a great size for Butters – I don’t feel like her barking interferes with anyone (no direct neighbors that we’re butted up against) and I’ve been in the home for 4 years and am settled. The inspector today kept saying how cozy I’d made the place. And it’s true.

It is cozy.

If you can shut out the world and just be in the moment – it’s a hell of a homey, cozy place to be.

I received another email from the landlord.

Apparently, the State I live in is a ‘minimal parenting’ State.


What is this, and why didn’t I know about this when Nic was under 18?

You mean I didn’t have to supply love, entertainment, attention to his education etc??? What the hell?

I joke of course.

The landlady had an example for me, and I quote:

Do you know that if someone is dealing drugs out of their home and they are not doing it in front of the children and the drugs are locked up so the kids cannot get to them that it is not a danger and therefore they cannot do anything!!”


system failure

There was another example:

“I was dumbfounded when I asked her what would constitute getting them involved and the responses made me so mad!  She told me that if someone had dog feces all over there floor, with children in the house, that if the children were crawling through it or at an age to still not understand not to put it in their mouth that would be an issue. 

If the same situation occurred and the child was 6 or 7 and knew not to put it in their mouth that would not be an issue.  I don’t understand how that cannot be health and safety????!!!!!”

Again, Wow.

We went back and forth and exchanged exasperation and ideas. I finally mentioned that the dog’s waste is not picked up and is located amongst the childrens backyard toys.

Two are under 6.

Grasping at straws I know!

That failing, they could at least call ‘the neighbors’ out on the unofficial dog and we can get that innocent party out of the mix.

In order to keep Butters, I MUST have renters insurance and had to put a pet deposit down. They should have to do the same!

And I don’t say that in a ‘wah wah’ tantrum way … I say it because it is NOT fair that there are people who follow rules and people who don’t and the ones who don’t seem to get away with it.

I think (especially before Christmas) that might be something they won’t want to do and they’ll opt to relinquish the dog.

It should have no problem finding a home – it’s a sweetheart.


What keeps returning to my thoughts though is how on earth is anyone supposed to prevent a tragedy?


The minute a child is killed or found in a disgusting environment, strangers comment ‘why didn’t anyone DO anything about this?’  And they tut and sneer and judge. (I know I have.)

Well people, guess what?  I bet someone TRIED to do something and there were no avenues for them to take.

I’ve called the Sheriff.

I’ve advised the landlord.

CPS has been spoken to.

And as I type, I’m still across from that family – and unless someone is seen walking out of their house holding a bag of drugs or they beat their children in the middle of the street – or they … gawd, what?

Unless they WHAT??

What IS it going to take to finally do them in?

I don’t know.

But I only want the best for those three children and for that pup.

And yeah – call me crazy – but I still only want the best for the flipping parents too.  Because they were once children.  Whatever makes them capable of being the way they are and lashing out the way they do – needs fixing.

I only want the best for EVERYONE!


Related posts:

 The House Next Door

Mustard Monday

The Help and how I almost didn’t

Porch Sounds – what about the children?

A day in the life


It does snow in Africa


Aw the new version is out … So I must delve into the archives and shake this one out.

Originally posted on Debauchery Soup:

A friend mentioned a song yesterday on her Facebook page.  It was Band Aid’s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’. 

Think I’ve mentioned before that I really might need to work on using my edit button. (Says the owner of the ‘Shut-up Buddha’). Here my friend was feeling warm and fuzzy and having memories flooding back and I just had to click on the comment box.

That song is the first of two that drive me bananas!  Don’t get me wrong, very catchy tunes – love the artists – this is strictly lyric related. 

Let’s take a look at a couple of lines shall we?

“And the Christmas bells that ring there, are the clanging chimes of doom,
 well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you”.

WTH?  “Chin up Africa, better you than me eh?”

I don’t think praying and saying ‘thank you’ for your blessings is quite the same…

View original 417 more words

Shivering and sheds and things …

“Mom, we can’t LIVE like this!”

My only child put his hands on my cheeks with sincerity in his eyes …

“It’s 72 degrees!!!!”

His hand were freaking cold.

Ok, I know – there are those of you living in places where you slip and slide attempting to drive to work – on black ice and through blinding snow. There are those of you whose pipes no doubt shall freeze – whose breath shall be visible in the chilled air.

I get it.

But how many of you have had an 80 degree drop? And it’s not even Winter yet for crying out loud!

I peeled my eyelids open this morning and seriously wondered if Fall could write me a note to get me out of work.

“To Whom It May Concern,

Amanda was unable to come in to work today due to the complete inability to remove herself from the barely comforting ‘comforter’ and exposing herself to the 50 degree temperatures within her home.



That wasn’t going to fly probably.

I braved it … and when I say ‘braved it’ I mean, I slid an arm out of the blanket next and grabbed for my sweatshirt. Slid a leg out and poked my foot into my Ugg boot – then had to actually sit up to accomplish the same for the other foot.

Butters has suddenly become a snuggler – surprise, surprise – and she lay all cute and curled up and watched me with feigned interest as I removed myself from my bed, bit by bit.

Oh how I wished I could turn on the heater!  It was 50 degrees in the house (I discovered this as I briskly trotted back to the bedroom holding a microwaved cup of yesterdays coffee.)

My pilot light went out when I accidentally shut off the gas thinking it was the water main a few months back. (Remember that? Yeah well, now we have repercussions don’t we?) Although, this does put me in a position of not breaking my annual tradition of lighting the flipping pilot and my friends and followers laughing at me doing it.

You would think I’d remember how I did it the past year – but every time (4 years now) it’s a YouTube tutorial then an ‘Ok, here we go!’ big ass event.

Feel like a hero in a movie - “I’m goin’ in!” Braving the gas and the metal and the flames to bring warmth to my little family.

Butters feigns interest for that activity too.

It’s always super rewarding when I do accomplish it though.

Speaking of accomplishing things …

I think I mentioned in my last post that we get wind.

No, not that kind.

Bitter, crazy wind that snaps and huffs and puffs and blows things down.

This weekend it was my shed. Sharp metal panels were hanging dangerously – all I could think was that if I didn’t get out and do something about it, a piece was going to completely abandon the structure and go slicing off into the air and decapitate something.


So outside I went – early in the morning with my galvanized steel wire and pliers and proceeded to stitch it together the best I could. My fingers almost needed stitching – with the flapping metal panels snagging me as I attempted to secure the pieces together, I cut myself several times. It was  probably a two-man job in such weather conditions and there were zero men – only me – (I have a new saying by the way “Don’t send a man in to do an Amanda job” – that was coined at work. Lol)

Anyway – Butters, again – is busy feigning interest – I think she was just glad I was outside with her somewhere other than the porch.

She abandoned me mid project to sniff around and bark at flying debris.

I kept stitching.

Don’t know why I bothered – this morning it was all sharply hanging and dangerous again.

I’ll probably get home to find a pair of ruby slippers sticking out from beneath it - if they’re fleece lined, I’ll keep ‘em.



Musings from the Laundromat: Peace love and wind edition

Woke last night to the howling of wind – debris clashing about in my yard – the metal shed bending and snapping – and smiled.  And curled into a tighter ball beneath my covers.

Oh how I LOVE this time of year!  From 130 degrees to 50!  It was 50 in the car on the way over to the laundromat this morning.


I walked in and was greeted by a man in dark glasses, a leather biker vest and plaid shirt.  “You made it!” He said.


I’ll chat with whomever strikes up a conversation with me – but I could not recall having struck one up  with him these past laundromat years “Yeah!” I responded.

He  then went on to share, as I filled my washing machines, how this wind is kicking dust up into his eyes and he just had cataract surgery.

So now I’m wondering if that’s why he’s talking to me – he thinks I’m someone else?  I also hoped that meant he didn’t see the pair of underwear on the floor that escaped during the washing machine filling.  (Seriously – EVERY time???  I have rebellious undies.)


Big news – I left the house yesterday.

You think I’m joking – but nope, I did.  AND put makeup on.  Eek!

It was an event for work and the theme was peace love and disco.


(The disco part proved to be difficult after 2 prime rib plates and 3 desserts, but I soldiered though it.)

It was amazing.  Have to admit, I was going into full panic attack mode as I approached the venue and parked.

Didn’t help that as I was walking from my car to the building (a casino) two men came out and leered – one said “Thank YOOOU” to me.  I had never wanted a trench coat to magically appear on me more in my life.

I entered the building and headed for the escalators – up I went – eyes front, as I heard wolf whistles from the bar below.

Okay, it’s nice to get a compliment from time to time, but I was CRINGING inside.  Wishing that magical coat would appear and wrap tightly around me.  Did not happen.

I decided to walk the rest of the way with my head up and a purposeful gait.  Which probably only made me look like a stuck up hooker.

It’s quite a walk to the actual destination – but I made it.  When I walked in – WOW!  Amazing.   The place was decked out! (My ipad isn’t really the best at capturing ‘wow’ especially in dimly lit rooms)


I found my people and anxiety level started to drop.

A friend of mine found me “How did they get you OUT?!”  Ha ha – but she knows me.

I’ll share another picture – I can’t say what event, where or who my work family is – but I don’t think they’d mind me sharing anonymously.  That’s me on the left – the 5th wheel. lol



Apparently there was a senator there – I don’t know my government officials so the coolness of that was sort of lost on me.

I did get to do the Hustle and my best Saturday Night Fever moves.  I did get to laugh and watch as my work family accepted awards.  And I’m not kidding when I say I had two plates of food.  I hadn’t had red meat in a loooooong time – I was not fooling around when it came to eating last night!

And now it’s time to empty the drier – and PRAY no underwear dives to the floor as there is a table of 5 men next to my folding station.

Until next time -




A day in the life …

Happens to be one of my favorite Beatles songs – and (immediate tangent) if you haven’t yet seen ‘Good Old Freda’ on Netflix yet – and still claim to be a Beatles fan – then go watch it NOW.

On a serious note …

I arrived home – Ah, Friday!  I stopped at the grocery store, came sauntering home with ice cream and dog treats – Noticed nice neighbor who was walking his dogs was battling a rogue dog in the neighborhood. I mean, seriously battling – yanking his pups on their leash and tossing rocks at the offending pup.  After understanding earlier that my son left Butters outside (after an IM) and thinking it was she that had leapt the fence for some reason and was up the street – I  peeled back out of my parking spot and realized my neighbor was battling another dog and it WASN’T Butters – thank goodness – I ‘covered him’ until he got home.

But, there are way too many dogs that are unattended and roam.  Butters is only out when I’m home – and when I hear her urgently bark, my arse is outside checking things out and bringing her in.

Anyway!! Got home again.

Put groceries away – grabbed ipad – went outside (I have a peaceful and lovely view of a vacant lot if I put my blinders on – rabbits – quail – silence)   put my feet up and was greeted by my unavoidable view of ‘THE neighbors’.

The ones I’ve discussed before.

I’ll keep this short – the video should bore you enough, explain a lot and take up enough of your time.

Bottom line – oldest daughter has graduated from hitting dog with hand to hitting dog with stick.  Youngest child is copying oldest and doing same.

The dog that ‘suddenly’ appeared after they had a break in. Or – perceived break in?  Who knows anymore.

I say enough in the video – so let’s let that speak a thousand words (and tangents) and any advice would be appreciated.

I will NOT just LEAVE!  That would render me ‘Ostrich’ and those kids and that poor pup will still be in the same situation.

I have some solutions.  I’m thinking tomorrow, I GO to the Sheriff department and just spill all I know. I have a home inspection next week and I plan to share all I know about the neighbors with them.

I’m doing all I can while protecting my own.  And while I wish I was one of those people who did the right thing ‘come what may’ – I have others to think about. My son – my dog.

And when people are on drugs – and when people are violent – there’s no rationalizing with them.





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