15 minute posts,  Life Lessons,  spilling my guts

Pecked By Ducks


You guys. I should have known that blogging about my bad feelings would be like plugging into a solar lamp. I forget that sometimes all you have to do to feel better is ask for help.  Just plug the lamp in! The internet is standing by, waiting to be encouraging. You’ve really made me feel so much better with your commiseration and good advice. I was so afraid of being judged that I held off too long. It was silly. I need to stop caring about what people think of me so much.

The ducks are still pecking away but I feel less alone. Thank you, Mamalang, for that excellent quote from your wise friend. Did you see that in the comments?

It’s easier to get eaten by an alligator than pecked to death by ducks.  


This morning I had to get my bloodwork done so I didn’t eat breakfast because you are required to fast for twelve hours. It’s no big deal. I wasn’t starving or anything but I had to do school drop off without my coffee and I missed it! I’m a natural morning person so I don’t need caffeine to function but boy am I addicted. I love coffee! I was one sad sack without it. I didn’t even get a headache but it was cloudy and overcast and I felt like I was in some kind of depression. I was early to my appointment and everything was cold and air conditioned. I just wanted to go home and crawl under the covers.

But I made it through of course. I’m not scared of needles. And then I came home, turned on my space heater, made myself the best egg breakfast you can make when you don’t eat butter and your bread is made out of something sprouted and had a big cup of coffee. I tuned my iphone stereo to my favorite piano solo station and here I am feeling about a thousand times better.

Thank you.


I know you needed a play by play. But if I’m going to get back into blogging regularly I have to write about what’s in my brain and that’s what I’ve got.

I’ve been really down lately because I’m afraid of debt. I’m going into debt deeper and deeper because of my car problems and my biggest fear is that it will snowball and I won’t be able to ever be free. I don’t know why I’m so afraid. What’s the worst that could happen? I could get evicted and have to live at my parents? Bug won’t get to stay in the school that I think is so great?  Nobody will hire me and I’ll die a failure?  I don’t know. It’s just a big heavy rug of fear that weighs on me every moment of the day. And sometimes it weighs so hard I can’t function and that just makes my fear worse because if I can’t work then I can’t make money and I can’t pay off my debt.

Anyway. I’m fine. Nobody needs to send me money. Send me work, sure. I love work. :) But I’m privileged. I’m lucky that I have credit. I’m lucky that I have a skill. I’ve never applied for any government aid even though I’d easily qualify. I have friends and resources. I don’t need anybody’s charity. I just need an attitude adjustment sometimes and thank you so much for that. Thank you for letting me be down among friends. I really appreciate it.

Toby has been there for me. He’s helped me financially. He’s given me car advice. But you know how it is when you are single after being married for so long? You want someone to confide in. You miss that person. You feel so alone even though you are surrounded by friends and family who care. There’s a void there. I think I’ve been ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist. I don’t intend on filling that void for a long time. Dating scares me.

Wow. Too much information. I think about all the people who read this and I’m embarrassed. I’m just putting it all out there for even my father-in-law to read. Crap. Do I really want to do this? This is why I don’t blog as often as I used to.  I talk myself out of blogging regularly.


The other day was Bug’s first day of school. She’s in the portables this year. The portables are a series of about six trailers parked at the back of the school on the blacktop. They are sad and pathetic. Behind them is a big beautiful grassy field bordered by trees so it’s not like she’s stuck in a trailer park next to a freeway or anything. But strangely, it feels that way. When I saw on her school website that she was located in a class preceded by the letter “P” my heart sank. It’s like we were suspended to Rejectland.

It’s such a weird thing. I think all the parents feel that way too. We are separate from the rest of the second graders and I miss my old pack of moms who used to stand around and socialize while we waited for our kids to get out of school. It’s just not the same. I  feel isolated. I wonder if the kids do too.

It’s all in our heads. The teachers are great. Bug’s classroom actually seems bigger and more spacious inside than her old one. It’s decorated with bright paper and everything seems tidy and orderly. I think I like her new teacher. I’m sure we’ll make a new pack of friends and it’s going to be fine.

But I hatched an idea. What if there were potted trees by the trailers? You know, on a drip system or something so they would be green and healthy? Right now they have one little neglected garden that is a patch of rock-hard dirt and some uneven paving stones. Weeds aren’t even growing it’s so desolate. It’s surrounded by a temporary white picket fence that is sagging. Nobody waters anything and the only plants that are alive are a couple of potted office plants that somebody discarded.

Every day I walk by that sad four-by-eight foot patch of dirt and I ache to water it. Maybe it’s just the green thumb in me. I can’t ignore it. I asked around and  supposedly it belongs to the after-school program. It’s dead because nobody watered it over the summer. They’ve been meaning to bring it back to health but nobody’s gotten around to it yet.

I know I need another cause like a hole in my head but maybe I’m the one to start something. Maybe a local nursery will donate some plants and a watering system. I don’t know…it’s just something I’m thinking about. At the very least maybe calling attention to this might make the rest of the school realize that we feel this way. I know I’m not alone in this.



And with that I’ll leave you with a photo of my dear sweet cat, Fiesta. She has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that she keeps me company at my desk all day long and also makes me feel loved. So there’s that.


  • Laura

    Hey you. I am back in the OC area. We need to get together. I can relate to this post in more ways than you can imagine. Lets get together and maybe even have one of your infamous margaritas.

  • Jen Wilson

    Kaylie’s in a portable this year, too, except they’ve somehow attached the portables to the school. There’s at least 15 of them because her school is on the edge of a brand new subdivision that is HUGE and doesn’t have a school yet.

    I haven’t been blogging for similar reasons (not wanting to bore the internet with my first-world problems), but maybe I should. It always makes me feel better. Funny how HARD it is to ask for help, but how GOOD it feels after doing so, right?


  • Heather Sanders

    I’m learning it never stops. NEVER. Around every corner is another “thing” to do. Down the road a bit something breaks ($2500 transmission, thankyouverymuch). A bit later, you get an unexpected affiliate fee (YES!). The next day you realize you owe an annual renewal for your online back-up ($50) that eats your affiliate earnings and more. Throw in braces ($7000) and you’re considering working through Christmas break.


    Each day carries its own joys, monotony, and trials.

    I’m working on making peace with that. I’m learning to let go of what I can’t control. I’m learning (always) to rest in our Father. Wow…I am perpetually learning.

    I’m also behind the learning curve, but then, I’m probably not alone in that.

  • Sally

    Mamalang, you are so smart! And there’s never enough money, I know. I hope you’re feeling better. When I get blood work, I really miss my coffee too. I usually treat myself right afterwards. Hugs!!

  • Mamalang

    Awwww, I’m so glad my words and others helped! Portables suck. I would say we’re so lucky that our kids go to school where they don’t do portables, but we worked hard and sacrificed so we could buy a house in that school district, so I’m not gonna call it luck :) Unfortunately, not everyone can do that, and the state of our educations systems makes me sad.

  • Heather

    My daughter spent two years in portable classrooms, and she said it was better because they were first onto the playground at recess! No having to walk through hallways, just go out the door and you’re there! Also, the teacher was more inclined to take them outside on nice days to read on the grass, because they were already so close to being outside in the first place. Like you, I got the idea to install some landscaping. One day a nearby subdivision’s entry was being redone and all the plants were being torn out and replaced with new ones. The plants I rescued were all perennials in great condition, I hauled them to the school and planted them near the portables, and 5 years later they are still going strong! Better yet, other parents and the teachers and students have added to the plantings, and they now have a beautiful garden. Go for it, Brenda!

  • Bethany

    It’s easier to get eaten by an alligator then pecked to death by ducks.

    THAN. Not THEN. Sorry, I just can’t help myself sometimes. You know how I am. (sheepish look)

  • lynne

    Great idea about sprucing up the earth areas near the trailers and making them into bee-u-ti-ful gardens. In the UK we have people who are guerrilla gardeners and make over and maintain forgotten earthy patches by the side of the road etc. You could get other parents involved and the kids. Could you grow edible but simple to grow crops. OOo an after school club to earn some more cashola? although it sounds like you are busy enough. I’m in Sri Lanka at the moment where I have been teaching English to a great bunch of kids as part of operation-get-my-life-together so I’ve not been online much. Sounds like you have been having some tough times. Sending you and Bug lots of love & hoping more regular gigs come your way. I understand what you mean abut missing having a confidant xx

  • lynne

    P.s. I am glad that Fiesta makes you feel loved. You are so loved Brenda and I know amidst all of life’s turmoil its easy to forget that. Sending BIG LOVE your way xx

  • Andrea

    I remember having a portable classroom when I was in elementary and I loved it! (That said as a mama, I can see missing that mama camaraderie…)

  • Kuky

    Ok I must not read forward going back anymore. It’s like reading a book backwards. That’s silly and doesn’t make sense. But I started and just couldn’t stop so yeah…and I’m lost…so just ignore me…errr this comment. Why am I going to push post comment? Maybe my silly should be sleeping blathering will give you a smile, that’s why.

  • Katie

    1. I love that quote. Might need to go up on my board next to my desk.
    2. It’s funny about the portables. I was in a lot of them in elementary school because our little town was growing so big and needed a new elementary school that there were probably more portables than actual classrooms at my elementary school for awhile. And then when I first started teaching at PHS, there were a bazillion of them, too, but when the school’s renovation ended, they all went away. I think they’re all gone at this point, but I could be wrong. Weirdly, though, the teachers that taught in them really miss them — teachers LOVED being in them because a) they got to have solo control over AC and heat, unlike the buildings controlled by the district, b) they’re SO MUCH BIGGER than our regular classrooms, and c) they feel closer to nature and, well, recess if we actually had that. I’m not sure how the kids ever felt about them, but most of my closest colleagues speak affectionately of their trailers. :)

    3. Yeah, the debt thing? Two weekends ago, I had about seven panic attacks about my financial situation, so I TOTALLY feel you on that one. :(

  • Patty

    My daughter was in a portable one year. It was also a combo-class with her grade the higher one. The cherry on the top was that she also had a brand-new teacher, arrrrhg! But you know what, it was a great year. The portable was bigger than an inside classroom and she liked that her teacher could control the ac/heating . She loved helping the younger kids in her class and learned as much helping them than they did, and her “brand-new” teacher was an empty-nester makeing a career change. She was new to formal teaching, but had raised 3 kids and was wonderful in her classroom. All will be good; you’ll see ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.