Seriously, I Have The Coolest Neighborhood In The Whole Wide World

It was a gorgeous afternoon yesterday and pjdaddy asked me to sit outside and visit with him while he bundled up some wood in the front yard.

I took my yarn and crochet needle and planted myself in my neighbor’s driveway so I could watch our kids ride bikes with the neighborhood kids.

Garren picked this color out because it’s the color of Thomas the Tank Engine. I have yet to finish one crocheted item because I keep screwing up.   I think this is finally the one. You know how excited you feel when you go on a date and absolutely everything clicks? Well, this is nothing like that, but I’m pretty happy nonetheless.

^ That’s my precious angel *cough pushing poor Talon off the bike because he wasn’t getting off Gavin’s bike fast enough I guess. Gavin is going to have a rude awakening when Talon finally realizes he’s a whoooole lot bigger than him. Hah, yes that’s pjdaddy right there. Totally oblivious.

It was a crisp, beautiful fall day. For me, the new year always begins not in January, but the fall. I’m sure  it has to do with the start of school and the start of all the holiday season.  It’s my favoritist time of year in a melancholy/sentimental stay up till 3 in the morning listening to Enya while I wrap presents and reminisce sort of way. Everything.  was.  perfect.

Then I hear it, the ice cream man. This man is a huge fan of the next door neighbors. Somehow they can afford to spend $800 in ice cream every time he comes around. I cringe when I hear his little song playing, it seems like he parks outside my home for HOURS torturing my children. As soon as I hear him, I blast the TV hoping they won’t, but it doesn’t matter, it’s like some sort of dog whistle for kids.

Yesterday was their lucky day because Graham used his own money and bought his brothers and sister a treat. The neighbors got their ice-cream and Graham got them theirs making sure they were fully aware they could only purchase the $1 treat. I wish I’d gotten a picture of it. All the kids lining up at the truck picking their flavors.

Everyone resumed riding their bikes and eating ice-cream, when the next truck showed up in our “hood”. Tomorrow’s trash day, so  the “junk guy” will cruise neighborhoods looking for scraps to recycle or resell. My neighbor “Honor Roll” (no that’s not his real name, he’s commented here before using that name) just happened to have some goodies for the man, so he backed up into HR’s yard and started loading up the bounty.

No sooner does the “junk truck” arrive then another truck comes along and stops when it sees pjdaddy bundling wood. The driver asks him a couple questions and I see it’s a tree removal truck. *sigh We get one of those trucks every couple weeks, but the prices they charge to remove our trees are just too expensive for us.

Not this time. These guys offered to take down the tree that causes us the most trouble for $185. WHAT?!?!?!? That’s insane! This tree was at least 40  feet high. We’ll take that deal. No more sap on my car! WOOT! WOOT!

We gathered up all the kids to make sure none of ’em got squished by falling branches and to watch this really cool event.

The guy put spikes on his feet and with chainsaw attached, climbed it like Spiderman.

 *visions of luau in my head   Oh if only there’d been coconuts up there!

He took the tree down.

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While the other guys chopped and stacked the wood in the street for pick-up.

Even the toddlers got involved.

This is Talon our next door neighbor.

I counted the rings 3 times to try and figure out how old the tree was. I got a different answer 3 times. I gave up.

They did such an awesome job at clean-up we gave them $200.

As pjdaddy and I sat letting the kids ride their bikes around one last time before we called it a night, we saw the local drug dealer walking across the street and heard him yell at his friend, “Those ni&#$rs are talking crazy, let’s get the fu$k out of here!” We watched them run and get into their vehicle and speed away and I thought to myself, yep, it’s the perfect end to a perfect day in our neighborhood.

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The Turtles Hatched! The Turtles Hatched!

On Sunday Pjdaddy and I were talking about the turtle eggs in our backyard. We figured they must have been a bad batch because it was taking forever. We didn’t know if turtle eggs could “drown” because they’d been submerged underwater for 3 days during Tropical Storm Fay. We’d been checking on the periodically, but hadn’t lately.

I suggested to Pjdaddy he go crack one open to see what’s up. He declined because he had no desire to smell rotting turtle. Spoil sport, but he and Graham did go outside and check them out. Graham ran right back in the house hollering, “They’re hatching! They’re hatching!”

My children had the wonderful opportunity to watch life begin.

Sadly that turtle didn’t make it. And no others hatched that day.

We checked the turtle hole on Monday, nothing. I checked it Tuesday morning, nothing. Graham came home from school and checked it himself and there it was, another turtle already out of it’s shell. Pjdaddy saw another turtle coming out of it’s shell and we saw two additional empty shells where the turtles had already escaped. I don’t know if toads eat turtles, but there was a big, fat toad hanging around.

^ That’s a turtle coming out of it’s eggshell. And below, it’s hard to see, but there’s two turtles in the tank.

They’re incredibly flipping cute and are about 1 and 1/2 inches wide.

[UPDATE]- I finally identified the type of turtle. Yellow eared slider turtles.

Monster Quest

My oldest son Graham and I love to watch, Monster Quest, it’s a show on The History Channel and this is how their website describes their show. 

From Bigfoot to Swamp Beast, Monster Quest reveals the truth of legendary monster sightings around the world. Deploying the latest in hi-tech equipment, each episode scientifically examines the best evidence available, from pictures and video, to hair and bones, as well as the eyewitness accounts themselves. From pilots to policemen to ship captains, a number of seemingly credible people have seen things they can’t explain. One part history, one part science and one part monsters, Monster Quest discovers the truth behind these legendary monsters.

A couple weeks ago we were watching an episode about man-eating fish.

I think it was people in some sort of Amazon village being interviewed and one was talking about her cousin being eaten, not by a piranha………………..but a catfish!

Catfish? Wha?

Legend has it there’s some catfish big enough to eat a small child in Alabama.

Well you can just forget the idea of me setting foot in any freshwater lakes again. Yeah right, like I’d do that living here in good ole Florida anyways. Not interested in being gator bait. Unless of course the gator was a football player. Relax pjdaddy, you know I’d never leave you for a college football player, they’d have to be pro.

Now I won’t ever say that things like Big Foot or aliens aren’t real because I just don’t know, but you know how all those crazy scientists are, they’re pretty certain nothing fun exists.

I beg to differ.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the youtube video below of a fish swooping up and eating a duck whole. If there’s a video of a fish eating a duck that big, who’s to say there isn’t one that could conceivably consume a small child?

[WARNING] The following video is not for the faint of heart, in other words, those of you who are freaking crybabies. [UPDATE] please don’t let your kids watch the video till you’ve seen if first, so you can see if it’s age appropriate for them.

h/t mesablue