On our fourth day in Paris, we awoke early and prepared for our trip to . We had lunch reservations at 12:30 at Les Bouquinistes, a Guy Savoy Michelin star restaurant. It sits on a street corner across from the booksellers who line the banks of the Seine. I really have to get over my fear of photographing food so I can do it justice, instead of quickly snapping a shot before stuffing my face.

However, I do have a photo of yet another basket of the amazing bread that is ubiquitous in Paris. We were all alone in the restaurant for at least a half hour before others began sauntering in. This was one of my favorite meals, although since I have not written in so long, I have completely forgotten what it was I ate. I just recall, over the net few days, Robert and I saying, “That was the best so far.”

After lunch, we headed for St. Chapelle, where we would meet our friends, Dave and Amy, who traveled in from the London area to join us for the weekend. Squeeee!  Robert and  I had museum passes – which we highly recommend – but instead waited in line with our friends so we could visit and discuss our plans for the evening. Plans that included a dinner cruise down the Seine. Or maybe up the Seine. Or both really.

Robert and I are absolutely gaga over St. Chapelle. The last time we were in Paris, it was still under renovation. This day, it was clear of scaffolding and the stain glass was magnificent. St. Chapelle is a royal chapel, Gothic style, within the medieval Palais de la Cité, the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century. Arranged across 15 windows, each 15 meters high, the stained glass panes depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments recounting the history of the world until the arrival of the relics in Paris.

amy and daveAfterward, we stopped at a sidewalk cafe for an adult beverage, then made our way back to our hotel. Amy and Dave were housed across the street, which of course led to a large number of balcony photographs. I’m sure people in the other rooms both on our side and theirs wondered who the crazy people were.

Once properly dressed and thoroughly cleaned up, we were ready for the evening. We had reservations on the Bateaux Parisiens dinner cruise to celebrate Dave’s birthday. Robert and I had gone on the dinner cruise our previous trip to Paris and loved it. Except for that part where I actually got lost on the one story boat. Other than that, the food and drink had been quite good, and the scenery as you float down the Seine and watch the lights of the city and Eiffel Tower flicker to life is gorgeous. This time, we decided to splurge for the absolute front of the boat. You know, where the rich people hang out.

boatWhile a good idea in theory, in practice it didn’t quite pan out. As we sat visiting at our table, waiting for the boat to begin its journey down the river, we were growing quite warm. We kept fanning ourselves and saying, “Once we get moving, a breeze will help, I’m sure – and maybe that’s when they turn on the A/C.” That’s when we found out. The air conditioning was OUT in the front of the boat. Elsewhere it was working fine. Imagine our amusement. I must say we were all pretty worn out and tired of sticking to our seats and “glowing” by the time we docked at the end of the evening. It was a terrible shame, especially with the additional investment we made. No one came by to offer any sort of apology or to mention anything about a discount or partial refund. We took some photos early on, before we began to droop too badly.

I was so miserable I don’t recall much about the food. I just remember thinking instead of the Bateaux Parisien, we were apparently aboard the African Queen. The company, of course, was excellent. If you have to be trapped aboard a hot boat in the middle of the Seine, eating a heavy French dinner, Amy and Dave are the people to share that experience with for sure.

We had intentions of phoning and discussing with them the following day – or even after our return home, but ended up just letting it go. However, on the way off the boat, we may or may not have acquired a bottle or three of wine that made its way back to the hotel with us. So, we are apparently thieves. To that I will only say, “Prove it.”

The four of us took a cab back to our hotel and enjoyed our ill gotten goods, and perhaps a little vodka over ice which went down far too smoothly as we chatted and watched the shimmering lights of the Eiffel tower and the golden glow from the Arch de Triumph.

Day 5 awaits, with the catacombs, lunch at Le Select (where Picasso and Hemingway regularly hung out), and a drink at L’Hotel (Oscar Wilde’s old haunt. And possibly current haunt.)






While waiting at the AT&T store the other day, I came across a website that has been more entertaining to me than Pinterest. You see, Pinterest is all this perfectly beautiful food, craft projects, closet organization, and lists of delightful and entertaining projects to do with your children over the weekend that include more than ten supplies you do not have on hand and will end with you feeling like a terrible parent. Who needs that? Nobody. What we need are gift ideas that don’t suck and that can be ordered online.

As I’ve been perusing my new addiction,, I’ve come across some items I thought would either make GREAT Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers. In the interest of good deeds and the brotherhood of man, yadayadayada, I’m sharing the ideas I’ve found. They’re mostly very affordable and often are not alcohol related. (Gasp!)

Except this first one. This is a carry on cocktail kit, capable of making two delicious old-fashioneds.










Then there’s this – what guy doesn’t want a switchblade mustache comb? You can bet he won’t already have one, that’s for sure.


Selfie sticks are all the rage, but the next big thing? The bike selfie. This can’t possibly go wrong.


This is in honor of someone I know who apparently used to spend some time at work doing exactly this, only without the handy-dandy nap apparatus.


Know someone who’s artsy or a Warhol fan, or both?


Have a friend or family member who likes walking in the rain? Give them their own rainbow. Or color wheel. Whatever.


This heart shaped umbrella is adorable. Looks like a scene from a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie. Yes, I’m old.


Goth coffee lover? Pirate pal? Try this spoon.


Okay, here’s another alcohol related gift. You know there had to be at least one more.


Personally, that glass is almost cool enough (no pun intended) to make me drink liquor straight like that. Almost.

Let’s just get the last wine-o gift out of the way. In my defense, it’s also coffee related.


Let’s say someone has had a few cocktails and is stumbling to the bathroom later that night, but doesn’t want to turn on that BRIGHT bathroom light. I give you the toilet light. The light also alerts the ladies to the potential for that horrible moment we’ve all experienced at some point in life. (Shiver.) Priceless.


I have no idea who to give these to, but I love them and you should too.


Everyone has that geek friend. Watch them go nuts for this. I thought it was a fancy belt buckle at first.


Just plain silliness? Yes, please. Pizza nails, anyone?


How about cupcake liners that tell your fortune?


And if you just give up and don’t purchase anything for your friends and family, distract them by wearing this.


I think I’ll buy 7 of these to wear every day of the week.














Well, I’m fast approaching my fourth week out of radiation. Still have some itchy skin, and some bizarre throbbing pain every now and then that I assume is a sign of continued healing. They said the radiation would keep affecting me for 2 weeks after we actually stopped, and it did. However,  I was so anxious to return to a regular schedule, I might have not been as patient as I should have work-wise. As a result, by the end of the week, I’m beat. I keep swearing I’ll sleep all day on the weekend, but I seem to live in a sports bar, with all day college football games on Saturday so that’s not really happening. Even without the sporty-sports, I start getting antsy after 9:00AM and feel as though I’m wasting a perfectly good day.

Currently, everything feels surreal. Each day I hear about something that happened since May or June, when all this started, but I have almost no recollection of it. I feel as though I’ve gone through each day sleepwalking. Hopefully, I’ve been functioning somewhat, anyway. I know I was TRYING.

I have neglected to report an event from two months ago. I just couldn’t address it until now. To add insult to injury, our sweet Daisy doggen became ill suddenly and had to be put to sleep. Cancer strikes again. We STILL haven’t recovered from THAT emotional devastation. Maybe it’s multiplied by Robert’s and my lowered immunity to bad news and almost psychotic need to have SOMETHING be normal at this point.

During that dreadful day, when the chips were down, my friends responded like they’d been waiting for an opportunity to rush to the rescue. “The Duchess” and Tony W came to stay with Gracie, the basset we adopted so she and Daisy could be little old ladies together. So much for that genius plan that lasted all of 8 months. Robert, Austin and I stumbled, bleary-eyed and in a state of shock, into the vet clinic to say goodbye. By the time Daisy drifted to sleep with Robert reassuring her and all our hands on her, I thought none of us would be able to get up off the floor, maybe ever again.

We drove home saying things to try to make each other feel better, but it was a sniffly, teary ride. Austin was so supportive. I wish he hadn’t been home to go through that, but then again, I’m glad he was. Derek was in Missouri, so he didn’t get to say his goodbyes. But if all four of us had been on the floor weeping, it would have simply been too much to bear. By the time we returned home, I thought “the Duchess” had probably pet a hole in Grace, (to comfort her.) So, once in the safety of our living room, there were five of us with red, watery eyes and a dog who was wondering what the heck was wrong with us all and WHERE had we left her “sister.”

As a result of the glorious past… 5 months(??) I get really emotional. Not sure if that’s the medication, or if it’s the experience(s), but I really want to take some time to sit still and figure out what all has transpired. Punch drunk, I guess you’d call it.

Mostly, these days, I’m looking forward to a time when my eyes stop welling up, I’m looking forward to having energy, and I’m looking forward to the END of this year.

I’m hoping this doesn’t sound too negative. I’m also grateful for the support of family, friends, readers and visitors. Also, (most importantly) my Robert has been amazing, and wonderful and has had to deal with a lot of crap. So, if I haven’t said it enough, you rock, mister.

And now, just so we can well up some more…


Sweet Daisy doing her impression of Rose in the Titanic movie.





“Hi, I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.”

A slow growing, less than 2 cm infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It’s grade 1, so basically as good as it can get for bad news. At this point it looks like the next steps are a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation. So, we’re really almost done with the whole thing. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)

This happened really quickly. I was at work about a month and a half ago and suddenly felt a sharp pain in my left upper breast/chest area. I held a hand over it, which is really not a good look for the office, and just muddled through until it stopped hurting. Then it was totally out of site out of mind.  Probably 2 weeks later I was reading in bed and felt another sharp pain in the same location.  Inspecting it more closely, I found…a lump. 

The next day I called my doctor, who got me in for a mammogram the NEXT day. A few days later I was back in, getting a biopsy. (Ouch.) Two days later my doctor’s office called and asked me to come in for the results. Full on panic started then. Never a good sign. It was around this time that shock set in. And a little parking lot car crying may have taken place.

Luckily, I have a great doctor. Surgeons were recommended. Appointments made. It became basically waiting from day to day to find out what was happening next. What was the news? Results? It was so surreal. I could not stop thinking about my friend Leah being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and dying two years later. Although my initial results looked good, I couldn’t help but think at three in the morning, “What if this is a secondary location? What if I’m riddled with cancer? Is that why my hip hurts? Does that explain my migraines lately? As fast as my doctors were moving, and it was FAST, there was still waiting time, and it felt endless. I started writing the night before the last round of tests. It was 1:30 AM and I’d been trying to sleep for hours. I had an MRI, bone scan and CT scan awaiting me the next day. This was my stream of thought: 

– Tonight I am a little nervous about the MRI and scans tomorrow, but I know in my head that chances are really small that anything will have spread. I SHOULD be worried about my sudden break up with estrogen therapy. My little tumor (to be named later) is estrogen receptive. That means estrogen is no friend of mine, and has to go. Which is funny (not), because without it I am a mess. Within hours of removing the patch, I was unaccountably annoyed. With everything.  Maybe now is the time I should learn to laugh at the small stuff. Small stuff I suck at. Big stuff? I’m a freakin’ rock. Mostly. 

It’s 2 AM now. The hot flashes and monkeys in my head are still at it. I’m waiting. Waiting for the test, biopsy, results, appointment, phone call. Good news. Bad news. Whatever. After the tests tomorrow, I could hear from Dr. G in the afternoon. Or, it might be Friday. It definitely won’t be later than that. And this will tell me if there are any other places they see anything suspicious. So I feel like once I know that, we can move forward. In the meantime, I guess I’ll go with this nervous breakdown/insomnia thing.

So, as I said earlier, the tests were good. Compared to what many women go through, this is a cake walk. I’m almost embarrassed to even call it cancer. I feel there’s an in between something it could be called. But then again, I have the option of lumpectomy or full mastectomy, so that’s just scary. That’s for real, right? Not pleasant  to consider. Life changing. I just keep going back and forth between feeling really lucky and feeling terrible. I haven’t settled on an emotion yet. And maybe I just won’t. 

That ought to be fun for everyone around me. Woohoo! Which way is the wind blowing today?

Side note: when you’re diagnosed with cancer, they give you a 3-ring binder. With tabs. It’s like they realize your mind was just blown and someone has to organize you or you’ll fall apart. Which is probably very true.  For the past 2 weeks, all my test results and doctor stuff was in my purse. Wadded up. Now it’s hole punched. Cancer will motivate you to get your s#!& together.

Well, some of it.  Don’t expect miracles, people. I’m still a hot mess. And I can promise you, no matter what, that will not change. 

Okay, so that’s that.  More to come.



Oh no, oh no!

My neighbors on Next Door have been reprimanding each other for the vitriol being spewed. As a result, one of my favorite (most obnoxious) neighbors has chosen to leave the site completely! Goodbye, Marsha. You will be missed. We will now start keeping track of how many people are signing off for good. Currently there are 843 neighbors.

Just today there was ANOTHER discussion about how rude people are – I hope your sense of irony is ready for a little exercise.

Title: Stop and read what you wrote before posting – 22h ago


In response to Suzann’s comment this morning about people continuing to leave this forum, I can see why. This should be a friendly and helpful place not a place to put out your opinions and promote your beliefs without any facts to support. You’ve heard the saying that opinions are like XXXX (insert body part here), everybody’s got one!

Take a minute and read what you wrote before posting.   Perhaps YOUR opinion would be better off sent privately than in an open forum.  (How about your opinion was not requested so pipe down?) I almost responded too about this not being the forum for missing animals but I stopped and LET IT GO!

What a waste of everyone’s time to post, read and respond to this pettiness. Go out and do something like meet a new neighbor or pick up trash to better the neighborhood instead of dragging it down. Bet your time would be much better spent!

Well, that’s not going unchallenged. 

Batter up!


 Jo Ann we all should enjoy the freedom that you have- to express ones opinions openly – I respect your right to do that in fact applaud you for doing that. All of us who live here should be free to do that. It is in the spirit of concern for ones view of what one wishes to live around or near that is causing this emotional upheaval. Its not political nor is it directed at anyone by name. My suggestion is if a post does not agree with ones viewpoint or interest then there is a delete button nearby. I use it quite frequently. It works. Dont know how long you have lived in OLH but 27 years is worth something.

Now, I’m not sure where this comes from but the next comment is:


Cats must be on a leash in the City of Dallas.

Uhm, okay. For a minute I thought he was calling them “catty” but unfortunately I was giving him way too much credit.

 Well, Joann is not going to follow her own advice now and ignore Pam. Of course not!


Agreed – everyone has the right to express their thoughts but NOT to attack an individual for their actions, thoughts or beliefs. Many people on here do this and it’s not right. This is supposed to be a forum that promotes a neighborhood spirit not destroy it and when people attack one another – that’s a problem.

I’m not sure if you get my point. If, as grown adults, people cannot figure out how to choose their words in a manner that promotes healthy discussion instead of mean spirited conflict, that too is a problem. Taking a few seconds and choosing the right words make dealing with different people opinions, thoughts and fears will be so much more productive unless stupidity, meanness and closed minds shut down people. I KNOW I am not alone in this thinking.

It shouldn’t matter about length of time in the neighborhood. Common courtesy and respect for neighbors is the issue I am talking about – not pets, not houses. If you are not in tune with what I’m saying, there is a delete button nearby.

So there.

And if you are interested in the leash law – Suzann provides it.…

Surprisingly, and tragically, Pam must have gone ahead and hit the delete button on Joann, because that’s it.

How dare people be sensible and refrain.

You’ll notice I’m not even adding photos now. It is all about these glorious people and words, words, words. 



I HAVE to live in the most bat$#!t neighborhood on Next Door. Enjoy this debate. I apologize for the length, but it was just too wonderfully ridiculous to waste.


Hey neighbors there is a gray 2008?? Ford Mustang on our street with a middle aged Hispanic man sitting in it, he has been just sitting in his car for about 45 minutes. Anyone know anything should I be suspicious I need to leave my house just worried because he is right in front of my house and has been sitting there in his car for quite awhile

call 911 don’t mess with it

Police will be there in a minute

(Wow. That was fast. Marsha does not waste time.)

That might be the water meter guy, I think he drives something like that. I’ve watched him before.

how about go and ask him if he needs help.

no way would I go and ask

I would call police NOW.

My husband works from home and is checking now. We are on your street.

Any doubts, call 911!

The car in question is an ’01 Mustang and it is empty now. Apparently the Hispanic man is hired help and was waiting for Bob across the street to come home. P.S. The car has a for sale sign in the back window if anyone is interested.

(At this point, you’d think we could put a bow on this. Nope.)

Caleb said that the mustang that is across the street and down a few houses has been there off and on for weeks and has a for sale sign on it. He did not see anyone sitting in the car, but was going to call 9-1-1 just to have them check it out.

why are you calling 911?

that’s what you do when someone is sitting in front of your house for an hour

Why wouldn’t you just ask him why he was sitting in front of your house for an hour?

because I am not crazy and live in Dallas with the highest crime rate in the nation

are you that naive

Our police force is so sparse as it is… calling the emergency line for a non-emergency… seems kind of extreme when you or your neighbor could just walk out there and say… “Do you need …   something?” There is probably a reasonable excuse for that person to be there at 10 am on a Friday…

im just curious why this is suspicious…. he’s sitting there.. in plain view… inside a vehicle… during the day. I mean… if he were sitting in your backyard, wearing a ski mask carrying a machete…i would be suspicious… but its a guy in a car.

Dallas doesn’t have the highest crime rate in the nation. we don’t even rank in the top ten………

and as far as my naivety goes… Its called being rational.

Everyone should have a healthy fear of suspicious activity… but not everything is suspicious. I’d be more afraid of having a neighbor call the cops every time i decided to sit in my car and read a book while waiting on someone…. than actually having a person sitting in their car in front of my house.

I would go out and ask him a simple question or two.

well I read in my house.

I just can’t with this….good luck

(Think she’s turning off the computer now? Think again.)

We do not rank that high in the nation, but we have had recent crime in the neighborhood. I am a peace officer and Marsha is correct. You always call the pd or if you have a neighborhood peace officer that patrols, you can call first. Since they are not always on duty call 911. That is what we do and you should never approach a suspicious vehicle by yourself. If the vehicle is there for a reason, then we can quickly find that out and everyone is good. The vehicle or person may just be the one we are looking for concerning a home invasion, vehicle damage etc.

It helps to know your neighbors and have their contact info so you can call and check with them if you have a question. You should also pay attention to what is going on around you and that will help to know where a vehicle is questionable or not.

Crystal, If you are sitting in front of someones house for an extended period of time you can expect that pd may come by to see who you are and why you are there. Just remember that everyone’s healthy fear is different and what you fear is obviously totally different than Marsha’s and we need to respect that.

I park my vehicle in said garage and it is too dark to read in there

Marsha, you could get a flashlight:)

Maybe I am weird I just do not believe in being in harms way and yes I pack one

a flashlight?


And there’s the gun…Marsha, I’m kinda glad you are too afraid to read outside your home.

I read on my front porch alot. I am not afraid I just do not seek trouble with strangers. Even walking my dogs I am very cautious of undersireables

Marsha: LOL it’s too dark to read in my garage too!

As far as concern, the first thing that came into my mind was Hispanic male in a small gray car…..and the two incidences on Bon Aire where the people gave that exact description.

calling the police and reporting a suspicious activity is different than calling 911. We should not abuse the emergency line for non-emergent situations… By taking an operators time up on the phone, we are taking the way a person that could be available for a true life threatening emergency.

Northeast Operations Division 214-670-4415

Peggy, thanks for your response. I do respect the fact that everyone has a different and valid opinion about what is suspicious or not… I’m personally just not understanding why this is suspicious, … or an reason for a 911 call…but that’s just me.

Most people would probably assume that lengthy visits in front of a home that is not yours would make you look suspicious, unless you were supposed to be there for one reason or another. And I also think that most people would expect that a police officer would be called at some point if they were there for too long… a criminal probably wouldn’t want that kind of attention… especially during the daytime. I generally assume that a person sitting in a vehicle during the middle of the work week during daylight hours probably has a reason to be there. But again.. thats just me.

And if a cop asked me what I was doing reading in my car… Not a problem… Because I’m not doing anything illegal… But now this officer has wasted his time investigating a person sitting in her car in the middle of the day instead of being available to help during a real situation that may be taking place…

And then we ask…where were the police? It took them too long to get there.

I would encourage researching the VIP (Volunteers in Patrol) neighborhood crime program. Eastwood’s is very robust and effective. These types of situations and others are covered by the police during the training.

Crystal, a car with someone sitting in it for an extended period of time could also be someone watching the area, seeing who is coming and going and when. Criminals can be really dumb. They figure if … they are not doing anything but sitting in a car, then the police can’t do anything to them. They do not know what we may be recording, names, lic numbers, makes and models.

I know who should be in front of my house and I know what is going on with my neighbors. This way if someone is in front of my house, I know if they should or should not be there. I am not with Dallas PD, but last time I checked their non emergency number rings to 911 and when I asked, they said they do not have a real non emergency number. But that was years ago and it could have changed. You have the same number I have for non emergency.

We still prefer that you not approach a vehicle by yourself and call us. Especially when it was stated above that the same description was given regarding two incidents recently. Short story…this happened to my husband 2 weekends ago. He parked his truck on the street (side of our house on a corner lot). He decided to work on his truck and pulled it into the driveway. While working on it a small car with a guy in it pulled up and parked just up from where he parked, partially in his spot. This was a Saturday afternoon and when he pulled up and sat in his car, my husband walked over and asked if he could help him. The guy said he was there to advertisements on the doors and he got out and went about his business. When my husband was done, he pulled his truck out and put it back where he usually parks, but was pretty close to this guys car. When the guy got back to his car, he decided to stick a knife in his tire. (this has been confirmed) Moral of the story…when you walk out and question someone, you have told them “I live here” and you do not know if they will take offense to what you have asked or said. Something to think about.

Crystal, you and I usually see eye to eye on matters like this, but I’ve personally witnessed people casing homes by merely sitting in their car, during the day. One of the guys that I called … attention to on this board was arrested the next day in our neighborhood. He was doing loops in our neighborhood, mid-block U-Turns, pausing to scope things out, staring me down, etc. for a solid 30 minutes. He came back the next day to burglarize some folks and was arrested.

And “There’s the gun” is hilarious. The gun finds its way into every thread. With the new open carry laws for CHL holders, I might have to greet a few suspicious individuals with a suspender-style double holster.

I think everyone may have missed my point.

Let me clarify… Yes, it does seem like a suspicious activity to most people..

But suspicious does not always mean emergency. My concern is the abuse of the 911 for non emergency calls.

Reports should most definitely be made… But not by flooding the line of a very precious resource that some one may actually need.

If what Peggy says is true and that number goes to 911… Have at it! Dial away! I hope your fingers don’t get cramped up. That’s on the dpd to delegate. But the non emergency line is an option.

As for me I hope you all come out to the Hindu temple on Sunday and meet all of your neighbors…. I don’t want anyone to call the cops on me if I’m reading In my car next week!

Wow! This has turned into a what/who’s right or wrong. I was merely asking if anyone knew any info only because he had been sitting there for awhile and I was concerned. I thought that’s what this .. site was for neighbors helping neighbors, but I am clearly seeing that it is a battle site that I do not want any part of. I am personally sorry for starting such a heated debate. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of their day.

(That’ll teach you. Reach out for help and you get a bag of crazy. But hold on – we’re about to find out why Crystal has issues with this… )

In 2010 my father was in an explosion that covered him in high octane gasoline and flames. This was in a smaller Louisiana town and pretty far from a hospital.

My brother called 911 to get an ambulance at the same time a call about a possible poacher hunting before deer season opened. The ambulance never showed, so they put my fathers badly burned body into a car and sped down the highway towards the hospital. At one point a police car pulled out behind them and had lights flashing….they assumed that they were assisting them on the way to the emergency room.

Upon pulling in to the hospital they pulled out the female driver out of the car and threw her to the ground with a gun in in her face.. They thought she had been poaching and was evading arrest.

After everything finally was figured out we learned that the non emergency call of a possible poacher was called in after a person heard a loud explosion….that explosion was my father and that call cost him a lot of time that should have been used trying to get him help. He ultimately spent about 2 months in the burn unit at LSU and had to go through multiple skin grafts. It was an emergency.

I know we are in Dallas, and not the backwoods of Louisiana but to me only emergencies should be called into 911. If you have time to discuss it in social media… You have time to look up the non emergency line.

Dallas has many more operators than my dads parish did… And I would expect they are staffed properly to handle our crime population…. But please consider this before calling.

DPD says ALWAYS call 911 to report concerns- suspicious persons, etc. They say better to call than not.

Crystal and Peggy, in response you your reply about how you may be gathering make/model/plates on suspicious vehicles… That’s exactly what should happen… But no one needs to call 911 for that to happen. Concerned citizens can get that on their own. Just write it down and report it promptly.

I think even in our small Dallas neighborhood people react differently to situations. If I saw someone parked out front I wouldn’t necessarily call the police. I’ve had landscapers here, a notary, all kinds of people for estimates.

A lot of people come early but they won’t come to the door until the appointment time. So they catch up on paperwork, etc parked outside. If I saw this and wasn’t suspecting someone I think I’d get the vehicle info then ask before labeling them ‘undesirable’ or ‘suspicious.’ Just me.

and i would like to know the one who that flagged my post. for real?

Which post…(it wasn’t me)…I kinda like scandalous posts to simmer without removal… Now I want to know which one was offensive!

I said undersireable because a person tried to approach me and my dogs and my dogs said no. I always trust my instinct and I am out of this discussion now

Oh I guess I missed that all together.

well I am gonna take the Tacoma to the front of the house and read a bit and just check it out

(Best. Discussion. Ever. Are they friends now? Not friends now? Stay tuned.)


Maybe you should sit down for this.

You see, I came across a story today that I just can’t ignore. Some may find it unpleasant, even shocking.

The headline: China Says, Please Stop Hiring Funeral Strippers.

OMG. Wait, what??! Is that a thing?

Yes. Yes it is.

God, I love China. Squeeeeee!

Without them where would we get children’s toys made of (or painted with) lead? Where would we get poison pet food? Where, I ask you, would we get toothpaste that contains ingredients found in anti-freeze?

No where. That’s where.

Well, maybe Taiwan would step up to the plate.

Here’s the deal. Apparently, in order to attract a good-sized crowd that brings honor to the deceased and to the family of the deceased, there has to be some sort of incentive. I mean really – most funerals are not that entertaining. Unless you attended my father’s – which was a laugh riot. But mostly, funerals are on the dull side. So, in China, especially rural China, people thought it would be good to provide some entertainment. Like opera. So for awhile opera at funerals was all the rage. Then the novelty of that wore off and people started showing movies at their relative’s funeral.  (You know, like “please join us as we celebrate the life of (deceased) and enjoy a screening of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”) By the way, if this catches on in the U.S., please play Gone with the Wind at mine.

Well, I guess movie screenings just weren’t drawing the crowds like they’d hoped – so the big idea now is strippers. Imagine it – in the middle of a funeral dirge, a strip tease breaks out. “Nearer my God to Thee” segues into “You Can Keep your Hat On.”

Oh, and sometimes, they bring snakes with them. The strippers,  not the deceased. Because just a plain ole’ stripper isn’t enough of a draw. Frankly, things have gone horribly wrong in a woman’s life if she says to herself, “I could really get on board with a career taking off my clothes and gyrating around a corpse.” Then again, things have gone horribly wrong if you are dead and your nearest and dearest thinks no one will show up to say goodbye to you unless there’s a partially naked woman dancing on your grave.

The Ministry of Culture claims the funeral-stripper business is thriving in rural areas due to a “general lack of cultural events.”  Really? How hard is it to pull together a nice, family-friendly square dance? Or a rousing game of bingo?

But never fear. The Chinese government is all over this. The ministry claims that “Those responsible for vulgar acts will be punished.”

Maybe they’ll spank them.

funeral stripper



The great peacock debate, courtesy of Next Door. Because sometimes people have too much time on their hands and aren’t irritating enough to their neighbors.


Beverly 5d ago
I’m thinking about maybe getting a peacock with a couple of hens with the idea of establishing a free range neighbor flock. They would be noisy, especially during mating season, but fun and beautiful. How do others feel about this idea? I wouldn’t want any harm to come to them.
Thank 4   Reply 43

Who thinks about getting an ostentation of peacocks, I ask you? How are they fun? It’s not like you can ride them. They’re not great at fetch. And where does one acquire them? Is there a peacock area at the Home Depot? How have I missed this? And yes, it is an ostentation of peacocks. There are some other descriptors as well, but I prefer that term for what should be obvious reasons.

Mary   5d ago
I think it is cool as I have seen the flock across the highway. I would only be concerned about traffic as people fly through on these streets. In my opinion and unfortunately, traffic patterns are of huge concern for their safety.

Barry   5d ago
With all due respect, it is not yours or anyone else’s place to introduce a foreign species into our ecosystem without knowing the impact it may or may not have. In your own yard is one thing, but in the wild to roam and breed as they please is another. Some real research should be done before doing something like this.

Hello, peacock party pooper.

Leslie 5d ago
I love the coolness of the idea, however it is not cool for the Peacocks. You would be attracting our beautiful wild coyotes and bobcats to ‘misdeeds’ that are natural living for them.

George 5d ago
Peacock poop and dead carcasses will not beautify the neighborhood …


Jessie   5d ago
It depends. Will they be allowed to jaywalk?

Looky there.  A little throwback to the jaywalking kerfuffle from Part 1.

Gerald   5d ago
As long as the peacocks stay on their leashes, clean up after themselves and are properly trained in the use of side arms, I have no problem with it.

Mark   5d ago
Though gambling is illegal, and I have never done so in my snow-driven life, it would be interesting to wager how long a free-range anything would last here.

Dave 5d ago
Yes!! I love peacocks!!

Keep up Dave, the winds are not blowing that direction.

Lavinia   5d ago
I concur with most of the other responses. Don’t think it’s a good idea. Perhaps not even a sane idea.

Ouch. That could be awkward when you run into each other at the grocery store.

Susan   4d ago
I think that peacocks would be too noisy and difficult to manage — but I hope you’ll keep the ideas coming!! Maybe something to do with local native species, like owls?

Ugh. This is the person who gives everyone a trophy for just showing up.

Jessie   4d ago
I hope those owls jay walk the hell out of the neighborhood.

Hostile, much?

Parker   4d ago
I would really like to see a herd of dwarf fainting goats.

OMG. So would I.

So would I.





The Next Door app discussed in Fun with Neighbors, Part 1, continues to inform and entertain. I believe I mentioned something about Thanking and Flagging in my previous post. “Thank” and “Flag”” are beneath each comment posted.  Sort of like the “Like” “Comment” or “Share” options in Facebook.

Well, I started seeing a lot of people complaining about their comments being flagged. In fact, one of the “Leaders” had to go online and post about it.

Amy 3d
Ok… I thought I might come right out and clarify a few things.
We all hate each other a teensy bit sometimes.

Someone is rude, or insensitive. We say stuff we would often NEVER say if we were standing mere feet away from this other person and their children/spouse, or if we did, we would probably acknowledge that it was something our own mothers might lecture us about for at least the next week…   

This post actually had to be written to adults. You see, if you “Flag” a post, it is referred to the neighborhood “Leaders” to review and potentially delete. Some people are claiming everything they write is flagged. Even the post they wrote about flagging got flagged.


It has since come to light that some people (I’m betting I could pick them out in a line up) believe that by hitting “Flag” it means they “Like” the post or want to save it to look at later. Like in Outlook email. So when they are trying to show support for their neighbor they are actually riling them up until they become a foaming at the mouth, hysterical, fist waving, full fledged nut job.

And let me tell you, it is AWESOME to watch. Now, I think some people do actually intend to “Flag” every post as being offensive. Because they don’t agree with it. Not because it is particularly offensive. Although there are disagreements about what is offensive too.

Don’t you love our country? I TOTALLY do.

I actually read a thread where a woman was defending her use of the term “douche bag.” Some were offended and called her out saying she had no class, or no verbal creativity. Others suggested substitutes like “deuce” or “dirt.”  By the end of the discussion she was reasoning that as a douche is an item used for cleansing, it could be viewed as a positive thing, depending on your perspective.

There are also helpful anti-crime tips like this from Eric:

Keep an eye on your cars/don’t leave anything valuable in them. I accidentally left mine unlocked last night and this morning it had been thoroughly rummaged through. Not technically a “break in”, but clearly someone is in the neighborhood looking for opportunities. I’m on Rogue Street.

I did NOT make up the street name. Ironic, no?

In response someone actually admitted:

Martin  25 Mar 
Same thing on our street. Wife left hers unlocked and the iPad is gone this am.
Thank Flag

Seriously? I would flag this post simply because people should be warned that this couple is simple-minded. What person leaves stuff in their cars these days? Except for my stepsons. <burn>

There are also regular reports of people in hoodies walking down the street. (Can we all agree the hoodie is just a bad fashion choice these days? For anyone?)

In response to a comment about the high crime in the area and a resident’s determination to move away, this conversation took place.

Oh, yes it did.

Lara  10 Mar
I have lived here 11 years and love the neighborhood and the people in it. There are many wonderful individuals who devote countless hours to making this a wonderful community. I appreciate the fact that DPD can’t be everywhere at once. They are not “worthless”, in fact quite contrary. They do an exceptional job with the resources they have. I sleep a whole lot better at night knowing they’re running down murderers, rapists, and drug pushers rather than my power washer. And to Kim specifically: You stated above, “I am mvg to Nola whr I can shoot ppl if needed & don’t hv to worry about any consequences! I am so ovr this nghbrhd& pos house!!! I would nvr buy a hse n this nghbrhd!” If that is truly how you feel, then thank you for moving. Not trying to be snarky. But you are mischaracterizing a great neighborhood. And you are completely ignorant to what DPD really does.
Thank Flag
Kyle  10 Mar
Just trying to clarify- so there’s more crime here, in our neighborhood, than in New Orleans, la? Doubt that

Thank Flag


Kim  10 Mar
Thr is more crime thr but different. When sum1 broke n2 my property Dpd said don’t do anything when we chased em down& said they would do sumthng but did nothing when we r w/in walking distance to the police dept,& came an hr later not even wanting to make a report. Worthless!!!

Thank Flag


Gail  10 Mar
Wait, what?
Thank Flag


Debbie  10 Mar
Lara, should we be good neighbors and help the move take place without a hitch?
Thank Flag

Thanks to Next Door, I bet there was a line of neighbors waving her off on moving day. I’m not sure if each used their whole hand or just one finger, but still…

* Some conversations have been edited to be shorter for publication and frankly, because it wasn’t that great.


For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Next Door is an app I became aware of after I moved to my new neighborhood in October. I was told it is a private group that includes people in your neighborhood who exchange helpful information on lost pets, trash days, suspicious people, pet sitters, good local restaurants, that sort of thing. Helpful, neighborly sorts of things.


Little did I know it was going to be the source of endless entertainment it has become.    If every neighborhood is like mine, I cannot recommend this app more. Or less.

Seriously. Take a look at this little exchange. One concerned neighbor was reminding people that there is a code in the city about using sidewalks. Otherwise, you are jaywalking. He had seen several incidents where people were almost struck by cars that were coming too fast around bends in the road. His post was met with more than 70 responses. I have selected some of the more notable for your reading pleasure. I am changing the names to protect the ridiculous.

Mary  6 Apr
Walking on uneven surfaces (the sidewalks) is so much better for your joints.

Thank Flag

Jim (Original post author) 6 Apr
So is getting hit by a car.

Thank Flag

Gena 6 Apr
Strollers are particularly difficult to drive on irregular sidewalks. Also hard to get up and down curbs when they are too high and without ramps. I use the sidewalks when I can, but there are times when it’s like four wheeling with a sleeping baby. I know it’s hard to put yourself in other people’s shoes, but sometimes there is a reason.
Thank Flag

Jim (Original post author)  6 Apr 
The lake is definitely a viable solution to the baby strollers but walking on the street with the buggy puts all involved in danger and it is still considered jaywalking. There is no need to put anyone in someone else’s shoes it’s about being safe.
Thank Flag

Karen 6 Apr
Half the streets don’t have sidewalks and trust the mom who’s pushing the stroller is very aware of her child’s surroundings how about slow down get off your phone open your eyes and don’t be a jerk.

Thank Flag

Jennifer from  6 Apr 
Well, that suddenly turned nasty.
Thank Flag

Jim (Original post author) 6 Apr
It is so unfortunate that someone was compelled to call me a jerk for a posting that both brings to light something which may warrant a ticket and that which is a safety issue for all.

Thank Flag
Getting good, right?  I mean, WTH? I think we know who is walking in the street putting children at risk now, Ms. Defensive…

And then the cyclist gets involved.

Steve  6d ago 
I bet y’all think that cyclists should ride on the sidewalk, too.
There are a whole bunch of sticks in this thread.
Flag me.
Thank Flag

Jim (Original post author) 6d ago 
Who said anything about cyclists, Steve?
Thank Flag
And then about 20+ posts into this heated debate, some in avid support, some totally against, a jokester felt it was appropriate to post this:
Carol 6d ago
No no no I totally get where he’s coming from and here are a few other Texas laws that as a neighborhood who obviously has a lot of time on our hands I think we need to get out there and really push!
1) It is illegal to sell ones eye.
2) Homosexual behavior is a misdemeanor offense.
3) The Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.
4) When two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.
5) It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.
6) Up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos.
7) It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
8) It is illegal to milk another persons cow.
9) A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, eit
her orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

10) It is illegal to possess realistic dildos in the state of Texas.
Now can we all just get a hobby and use this site for pertinent things:)
Thank Flag

You’d think that would make the group turn on her, but nope.  They are stuck like glue on the sidewalk versus street debate.

Bob  5d ago 
There have been times when I have been as much as several seconds late to my destination due to parents and their children blocking my god-given roadway. Stop the madness – report all jaywalkers to the police so that they may receive their punishments.
Thank Flag

Jim (Original post author) 5d ago
Yes Bob, stop the madness. If we used our God given brain to think of each other’s safety instead of using it for sarcasm perhaps we could drop from #2 in the nation with pedestrian deaths to #50.

Thank Flag
Bob 5d ago
Let’s remember that Texas is the second-most populous state. Accounting for population, Texas is #10 in pedestrian fatalities.

Thank Flag
Jim (Original post author) 5d ago 
Thank you Bob, good to know that people think that some Texas laws have little bearing in residential neighborhoods more so than others and should not be strictly applied. Nice to be able to pick and choose. That’s using the the noggin.
Thank Flag
Here’s a helpful comment that was obviously necessary:
Natalie 5d ago
omeone needs corncob removal surgery
 Jill 5d ago
cranial rectitus can be blinding for sure
Jim (Original post author) 5d ago 
Bob, why do you keep editing your posts? is it perhaps because you know of:
Disorderly Conduct
Texas Penal Code §42.1
It is illegal for anyone to:
o Intentionally use abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language.
o Make an offensive gesture in a public place if it incites a breach of the peace.
o Make unreasonable noise in a public place or abuse or threaten someone in an obviously  offensive manner.
Bob 5d ago
I guess that you couldn’t come up with any rational response to my last post, so you use the power of diversion to change the subject. Figures.
Jim (Original post author) 5d ago
Your comment was so irrational and sophomoric that it didn’t merit a response, Bob. The same way that you resort to using vulgar language to make a point.

Thank Flag

But wait! The late-to-the-party chime in:

Katie 4d ago
wow, How about this? Sometimes people walk in the street, EVERYONE drivers, and pedestrians need to be AWARE. While walking in the street, be courteous, do not take up the entire lane you are walking in, and yield said lane if you hear a car coming. Drive safely around curves in the roads, and above all DON”T BE A DOUCHE to your fellow humans! Geeze as entertaining as this thread has been, it seems a lot of us in the “hood” are very opinionated, and not soo kind.
Thank Flag

Paul 4d ago
What’s the over / under in number of posts before somebody calls somebody else a poopy-face?

Thank Flag

Jane 4d ago 
[I’m waiting for Godwin’s Law to kick in…]
Thank Flag

Lara 4d ago 
Oh Jane, you Nazi… ;)
(*Note that the N-word here was used in jest, in response to the Godwin’s Law reference by Jane, and not meant to offend anyone. I’m sure that Jane is not a ‘Not See’, nor is anyone else in this group. I don’t know who flagged me for this, but I thought the winky smile was enough to indicate that there was no harm intended.
Thank Flag

After that, Jim wisely closed the discussion.

Meanwhile, I think we’ve all learned our lesson. Don’t jaywalk. Or do, if you have baby carriages, a wheel chair or don’t want to step in mud or get fleas. Just don’t let Jim see you do it.

Enjoy your next block party. I know I will.

Tune in soon for a lesson in flagging, peacocks and large trash pick up.