Hello from the other side

I find weekends depressing lately, and I find holidays depressing-er. I’m like Lone Wolf Woman, of the Elderly Lone Wolves, and I’m not sure when this happened but I believe it was somewhere between divorce and failed follow-up relationship.

Anyway, I’m glad this long 100 Years of Solitude just-me sans-friends weekend is coming to a close. For it’s not quite done yet: I’m writing you on Sunday night. I’ve got an early dentist appointment Monday morning so I’m blogging now.

Hair. Sunday evening. After it had a day of gardening, a rain storm, working out with trainer, and no shower. Pump up the volume pump up the volume dance dance.

Also, I want you all to think good toothbrush thoughts for me.

When I get my dental cleaning, I base the quality of my next six months on the color of the free toothbrush they give me, a toothbrush neither I or anyone else uses anymore because we all use electric toothbrushes. Now, a dentist who gives you a free Sonicare each cleaning, that’d be a good dentist right there.

Anyway, last time they gave me a LAVENDER-colored toothbrush, and I thought that boded well for my future, but let’s face it, the last six months have been “eh” at best. Despite that, I’d still be delighted with a lavender, or a pink. If I get a green or a blue, that’s neutral. A yellow or an orange, the next six months will suck.

I’ll report back directly so it doesn’t weigh on your mind.

Anyway, here’s what I did on my dull alone Friendless Jo Jackson weekend.

Faithful Reader Paula H&B subscribed me to Highlights Magazine this year, and it almost always arrives on Saturday, which is perfect for me because then I can read it cover to cover because Lone Wolf. This month, they included story problems that can BITE MY ASS, and please note I got the BONUS! question wrong, a BONUS! question that can also bite my ass. I did appreciate the names of the copy shop guests, and by the way, who goes to copy shops anymore?

Also, on a shocking note, there were kittens:

Leeev Claude ‘lone. the way you ‘lone all the time. heeee.
Freeeeeda also wish for pry va see.
Wy big kittee lurk neer jack son? jack son got da willys.

One thing I did this weekend was go to Whole Foods, where I bought some strawberry fizzy water because you know I like that. The checkout guy was chatting up the woman ahead of me, and he was literally hovering her items over the scanner, motionless, while he asked her questions about her life. Hovering. Meanwhile, my temper was hovering. I’m carrying a case of strawberry fizzy water and it’s getting heavier by the minute while he’s a hovercraft, over there. Finally, sweat forming along my cerebral membrane, I looked at the guy behind me meaningfully, like, Can you believe this bullshit?

But the guy behind me sort of didn’t take the bait. I was dangling the bait, along with 12 fizzy strawberry waters that apparently came “Now in 50-pound cans!” But no.

Then it was my turn. The ball has dropped in Times Square and welcome 2020, but it was my turn. As I was finally buying m’cans, the checkout guy looked at the guy behind me in line, Norman Baitless, and he was all, “Heyyyy!”

They were friends. And I had given the friend the “Can you believe this asshole?” look.

I can never go back to Whole Foods again, which is fine because Whole Foods is a pretentious fuck who can bite my ass, but anyway.

“Hey, June!”

I was lugging my fizzy water, all apparently 992 cans of it, so heavy did it feel at this point, it ain’t heavy, it’s my water, when some good-looking dude approached me on the way out the door.

“….oh, hi!” I said, faking it. I’ll have what she’s having.

The thing is, I knew I knew him, and finally I decided I knew him from Tinder, but what I honest to god could not recall is if I had actually gone on a date with him or just looked at his photos. That’s when you know you’re over-Tindering.

The OGs of the Gardens house

Also, we had a huge thunderstorm this weekend, and Edsel and I were looking out at it from the back of the house when


That’s what it sounded like, PAM!, which, apologies to my mother, who is similarly named Pam, but not PAM! like her name is an onomatopoeia.

“Oh!” I said, post-PAM!.

Edsel nebber leeve mom syde,” Edsel said. And he didn’t. He was four inches or fewer from me the rest of the day.

At first I thought it was thunder, but then it occurred to me it was a transformer, but not like those movies that I have no idea what they’re about.

And I was right. Awhile later, my neighbor and I were talking about the giant


and I offered my theory about it being a transformer, and just then the cutest Duke Energy man drove up and said, “Hello, ladies!” but not in a leering way, and the moment he was out of earshot we were both, “He was cute!” Anyway, he was on our corner for a while, putting out his red light, and I went out there to take a photo but there was no way to do so without seeming like an insane person and you’ve already seen the rain hair god has dealt me today so I abstained.

Since I was out, though, I took rain shots of my pears. I’ve been worrying about when to pick them, so I googled, “When do you pick pears off your tree?” and they say you pick them before they’re ripe, and you know they’re pickable when you pull the stem horizontally and they come right off.

So now I have a bowlful of pears ripening in the other room and what the hell am I gonna do with so many pears? My tree is literally weighed down with them.

Peary fruitful. You’re welcome.
it not gooing to PAM! again, do it?

While I was out there photographing the pears and ignoring the weeds, Mr. PAM!TSD was out there four inches from me, so I took an art shot of him, too.

Eds. All posin’ like he’s AKC registered. Also, has anyone seen my lipstick? …Oh. There it is.
I’m June. You can have All This for the price of however much it costs to feed six cats.

I also went to my trainer today, and announced to her that I was going to photograph her sneakers du jour, as she has different shoes to match all her workout ensembles. She owns an inordinate amount of workout clothes. Note my Rush shirt, above, which serves as my workout garb.

Anyway, today she went for a gray look. Further reports as developments warrant.

After an hour with said trainer, in which she made me balance on balls and lie upside-down on slanty things and lift up weights like it was fun, I said to her, “You don’t want to know what I’m doing after this.”

KFC has a new Cheeto chicken sandwich. I’d told everyone at work that I was going to try it this weekend, and I couldn’t go BACK on my WORD. As we all know, my word is gold.

So after an hour of killing myself working out, I ruined my progress with, yes, a Cheeto sandwich.

And? It was…not that good. It had something white on it, cheese or mayonnaise. I wasn’t sure. And also this hot sauce. You know what would have been good? Straight chicken with Cheetos. This sandwich had too many flavors.

hooo CARE, mom

So that’s all my news, and I am glad to be back at work around people again, so I don’t have to Delta Dawn my way through life till next Friday.

Al Paca

71 thoughts on “Hello from the other side

  1. I hate Whole Foods and their snobbery and crazy prices. I have celiac disese so I should gravitate there along with gluten haters who just want to say ‘I eat gluten free’ yuck.

    I bought peaches. Kids were all excited and they all ripen the same minute and if no one eats them that minute, they turn mushy and invite a million fruit flies over. Maybe I shoulda bought peaches at Whole Foods? Anyway left for Vancouver and tossed the peaches but I worry those fruit flies have taken over the house by now.


  2. I thoroughly enjoyed an all-alone holiday because every family member was either out of the country, state or town. Beagle woke me early(as usual), walked her early before the heat of the day, went to the farmers market and came home and made gazpacho to chill in fridge. Finally sat down around 2 pm and felt a little sleepy so I stretched out on the couch and took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Heavenly! When the fireworks began beagle was napping beside me on the couch under a blanket. Her head popped out and she was pissed! She was never scared, but angry about the noise. She got up and stood on the back of the couch on alert until they completely stopped. She’s a funny girl!
    I would love to meet up some weekend. There is a great cat cafe in Chapel Hill if you are looking to meet more cats or talk with another human.


  3. Just back from a week of camping out at our local fair, with a trailer full of teenagers, cows and pigs….so delighted to have a few days of June non-blogs to read and laugh with! The comments sections the past few days have been on fire! My son shows dairy cattle and hogs thru 4-H and FFA so we gypsy caravan to several local fairs all summer long. It’s a fun/exhausting whirlwind of teenagers and livestock and hay and manure and “can I have another corn dog” and “can we go on the rides again” and answering non-stop questions from the non-agriculture-California-public who think all food items just come from the grocery store – “where does chocolate milk come from?”, “why do cows moo?”, “wow, look at the balls on that one!” (said by a preppy popped collar idiot pointing to a female cow’s udder – where the milk comes from…sigh). I’m craving some lone wolf time that doesn’t involve barn yard smells, boys or adulting….and maybe a Taco Bell crunchwrap supreme, try it, it’s delish.
    Cheers to the pink toothbrush and snort-laughing at the lipstick comment (our poor Max can’t take a single photo without showing off his).


  4. Hi June, you can grate the pears and make pear bread, then freeze the loaves. Use a banana or squash bread receipe. Yummm!
    Or take the extra pears to work for the coworkers. Loved the blog photos!


  5. So, I know you’re not so big on the cooking/baking thing, but an easy use of your pears would be a Pear Galette. Think pie, only much simpler. Dough, filling, wrap around, done. Check online. I love them, as they work for everything fruit pie, look great (rustic!), and you can use the pre-made pie crust. I’m going to cut some rhubarb and freeze for hosting my book club in August, and later in winter.


  6. My husband and I wandered into a Whole Foods about 10 years ago on vacation before they were all the rage and we thought it was just a regular grocery store. You should have seen the looks when we asked where the chips and pop were…..


  7. My husband and Helen’s must be kindred spirits, although if I suggest something he’ll do it, but it’s not fun if the other person is only going through the motions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The most depressing color of dentist toothbrush is maroon. There’s a reason you never see maroon colored toothbrushes for sale…because maroon.


  9. I used to work in a noisy newsroom. Now I work at a company where it is so silent it’s freaky. And I snort-coughed at the lipstick caption. I just wanted to take a small break to read June, and gave myself away. Alert the authorities, fun being had in the back cubicle (yeah, the one with the pink framed photo and a stuffed sloth).


  10. Weekends have always been difficult, but my husband was pretty much up for anything I wanted to do so I didn’t dread them as much as I do now that he’s passed. I did add the meet up app to my phone and there are lots of things I could do so I may try a few soon.


  11. Velvro dog here too, the “needy male” ( TM my best friend). The female is a Chi mix toughie. The cat gets bent too, I’ve been waking up with her sleeping next to or on my head. Six days of fireworks or thunder and lightening in a row is too much for the poor things. My neck is sore.
    I once had pear halves in a chocolate shell at a bridal shower for dessert and they were delicious, simple and elegant. That was forty years ago. F*#k, I’m getting old!
    Thanks for the sandwich review. I have hot sauce so ewww no.


  12. I like being alone, because my husband is always here, and lots of times gets the rachet jaw. Just shut up! And it’s always about golf. I guess if he wasn’t always here, I’d get lonely, but who knows?


  13. I can totally see how no people all weekend would be lonely. Especially on a long weekend.
    The kittens are adorable–as are your regularly scheduled pets. My dog hates the PAM! too, but now he starts shaking when it is a lovely gentle rain. I guess he is anticipating, but often it never comes.

    Lovely post, lovely June!


  14. A few years ago, I would dread these long weekends. I never wanted to appear pathetic, because I was sure people would view me as pathetic if I didn’t have a weekend stuffed full of plans, so I stuffed every weekend full of plans. I joined a book club and a hiking club and went to church things all the time. The feelings of pathetic were in me, not in other’s thoughts of me. I know that dread and blue you felt. I’m sorry. But you do look pretty cute going to your trainer, and now you know you can freely never have that KFC sandwich again. BTW, have you had Nashville hot chicken yet? It’s all the rage here.


  15. Your lipstick was the first thing I noticed about the picture of Eds. I have concerns about your seatbelt. It looks like it’s cutting into your neck. Mine has been doing that lately, and I don’t recall it doing so in the past. I’m kinda afraid if I get in an accident I’ll be decapitated. You? I also like your hair pulled up.


  16. I used to have a pear tree. I don’t like pears and that tree usually produced a million of them. I spent at least one day a week picking up pears from the ground. They would be mushy and there would be bees everywhere!! Gross! My neighbors knew they were free to help themselves. I usually gave some to a friend’s father. He would wrap them in newspaper and let them ripen. He always raved about how good they were. The tree finally stopped producing and I happily had it cut down!


    • I have an large apple tree. It’s on the south side of the house, and I generally keep the blinds closed on that side during the summer to avoid heating up the house, so for about 5 years, I missed the point where they were getting ripe and I would go out and there would be like 3 sad apples out of reach and some gross ones on the ground.

      Then one year the neighbour showed up on my doorstep with a tupperware full of applesauce and I said, “Oh, cool, we have an apple tree,” and he looked me in the eye and said, “I know, these apples were from your tree.” Since then, I’ve made him be the one to prune the damn thing, and we have had bumper crops (most of which he takes for apple sauce to give to his church, and a few of which I take and cook with, not being a huge fan of apples or sauce).


  17. We had velcro dog with the Pam and fireworks combo this weekend too.

    I think if you put a pear in a paper bag it will ripen quicker (it was a Grandma thing). And super easy/tasty recipe: broiled pears….a little brown sugar and some foil!

    Lovely post, pretty June!


  18. We had a nice mix of Lone Wolf and people time this weekend which was unusual for us since we are normally Lone Wolf most of the time.

    We also had a LOUD thunderstorm Friday afternoon followed by a 2-hour power outage due to a tree hitting power lines. Instead of PAM!, ours was BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! then dead quiet.

    In other news, have my fellow Southerners heard how loud the cicadas are this summer?


      • I stand corrected as I always thought the night sounds were cicadas and never knew they were katydids. I just checked online and found recorded sounds. Apparently, what I’m hearing is a chorus of katydids and tree crickets. The site said the cicadas normally make sounds during the day. Who knew? I mean, besides you. Thanks for letting me know.


  19. Has anyone seen my lipstick – DYING

    Yay for pink toothbrush – its gonna be a great month or so – too bad on the crown – it will clash with your tiara – teeth who needs them – oh right…..

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I totally understand the weekend hating. My husband died in 2017 and for awhile I had a lot of pity invitations, but now everyone has gone back to their regularly scheduled lives. My kids don’t live near me, so it’s just me and my dog on the weekends. And she just likes to sit on the couch 1/4 inch away from me, which can make for a long, lonely weekend. It’s weird, because I have always craved alone time, but every weekend alone isn’t that great!


    • I agree. I got zero fourth of July invites. There was a family baby shower on Satuday. I used to hate those being infertile but I’m past that now. I enjoyed the company of extended family we don’t see enough now they we live hours and not city blocks away like we once did decades ago.


  21. I’m in the dentist office right now waiting on a new crown after dealing with an implant process since last September. And this is a new dentist, mine old retired after seeing him 49 years. I’m sad, but everyone deserves to retire. When I leave here we are driving two hours to north Georgia to buy two bushels of green beans. Guess what I will be doing the next few days…snapping beans, then I will can them. Those pears would make pear relish that is delicious. My grandmother always made it and gave it as Christmas gifts, which everyone loved. We had a huge PAM last weekend, but we lost power for several hours.


    • Tee, are they cornfield beans (purple green beans)? Those are my absolute favorites and I freeze some every year to have in the cold, dreary, vegetable deprived winter. Also freeze corn and peaches.


      • Bama, they are white half runners. Wonderful beans. My grandmother always talked about cornfield beans, but I don’t know if I have ever had any.


      • I might pickle three or four quarts of the beans, because I have about six or seven quarts already pickled. Pickled beans are a family tradition from my grandmother that was raised in western North Carolina and we love them too!


  22. I enjoy my hermit-like-existence although I was just about ready to get back to work today. Not so much to talk and interact with people, though.

    Your t-shirt picture and your trainer’s shoes picture almost make one full person. Remember those flip books where you could change people’s outfits? Reminds me of those.

    I went to farmers’ markets this weekend and have two separate carrots that look like legs. I have made them walk, run, hop all over my kitchen and I will be very upset when they end up in the salad.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. We’re big Eddie Izzard fans around here and I cannot see a pear without thinking of his bit about them: “Pears can just fuck off too. ‘Cause they’re gorgeous little beasts, but they’re ripe for half an hour, and you’re never there. They’re like a rock or they’re mush. In the supermarket, people banging in nails. “I’ll just put these shelves up, mate, then you can have the pear.” … So you think, “I’ll take them home and they’ll ripen up.” But you put them in the bowl at home, and they sit there, going, “No! No! Don’t ripen yet, don’t ripen yet. Wait til he goes out the room! Ripen! Now now now!”

    It’s funnier in performance, you can Google a YouTube. But you can’t mention a pear in our house without someone responding with a “Fuck pears”.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. We’re big Eddie Izzard fans around here and I cannot see a pear without thinking of his bit about them: “Pears can just fuck off too. ‘Cause they’re gorgeous little beasts, but they’re ripe for half an hour, and you’re never there. They’re like a rock or they’re mush. In the supermarket, people banging in nails. “I’ll just put these shelves up, mate, then you can have the pear.” … So you think, “I’ll take them home and they’ll ripen up.” But you put them in the bowl at home, and they sit there, going, “No! No! Don’t ripen yet, don’t ripen yet. Wait til he goes out the room! Ripen! Now now now!”

    It’s funnier in performance, you can Google a YouTube. But you can’t mention a pear in our house without someone responding with a “Fuck pears”.


  25. Lovely post! I got a T-shirt for Christmas that reads “PEOPLE. Not a big fan.” It’s pink. I love it. And I make sure to wear it on days when I need everyone around me to go the eff away.

    Like Laurie above, I work in an office all day with people talk talk TALKING all the damned day. So when I get home, I want ZERO talking. My husband? Works with his brother. They don’t talk to each other all day. So when he gets home? He has a lot of words stored up that he needs to get out, and somehow thinks I am interested. (I feign interest, well.)

    I don’t shop at WF or Trader Joe’s bc I’m cheap.


    • I taught elementary school for 30 years! I’d come home and the people that I lived with would want to talk to me. They couldn’t understand why I was cranky. Why you ask? Because my job entailed talking to children ALL day!!


    • With you on the not shopping at WF because it’s too dang pricey. Trader Joe’s is more reasonable and has some super unique foods… but their parking lot is the 4th circle of hell, and I’m not sure I want any of those foods badly enough to suffer through it, only to then have to go to the regular store for Cheerios and Diet Coke and other necessities.


  26. I have to say being married doesn’t guarantee any company or things to do for the weekend. At least not in my house. I was off work 4 days in a row and my spousal unit did not spend more than an hour each day with me. Not only that, he totally planned things he wanted to do and didn’t once say, “Hey you’re off work – let’s ________” (fill anything in there it didn’t happen). My issue is that I’m alone all the time at work as my office is just the opposite of your open floor plan. So, I wish I had some company in the evenings or a good friend to do something with on the weekends, but mostly I’m just alone all the time and a lot of that time I’m actually very lonely.


  27. I had pretty much no adult interaction this weekend and while I do enjoy my alone time and spending time with kids, like I did this weekend, I am ready to be around people again once I get to work.
    I did enjoy your non blog this morning, and wanted to let you know i like when you put your hair up!


  28. Our Whole Foods has a long conveyor belt, but our Trader Joe’s only has a shelf. Because of this, I was confused about why you couldn’t put the water down at WF when there was only one person in front of you. Thank you, Lisa. Not THAT Lisa. I keep the dentist’s free toothbrush in my desk drawer and use it when necessary. I’m about to change dentists and I’m hoping they have a different brand because I have toothbrush standards dentist crnt. doesn’t understand.


  29. Poppy Okapi is an excellent name!
    I’m proud of you for correcting your work on the bonus question.
    Once, I got a toothbrush that was clear. Clear! I didn’t even know what to make of that.
    Lovely, lovely post, June!


  30. I, too, am suspicious of the toothbrush colors orange and yellow. I always hope for blue or green but I can deal with pink if necessary. Can’t comment on Whole Foods as there is not one within three hours of my house. It was Big News when we finally got a Publix.


  31. I am okay with no people weekends. I get plenty o’people at work. My husband, though, wants people all around him all the time. He gets sad when he doesn’t have people. What bugs me is that he wants me to share in his people. I don’t want to formally invite people over because then they stay. It’s okay if they want to drop in while we are outside working because then when I am peopled out (5 minutes into the visit) I can switch back to working and they can either chat with my husband or go on their way.

    Wow! I sound like George Wilson. At work I am Mary freaking Poppins. I work at a Service Canada – I am too friendly. People drive to our office rather than visiting ones closer to their homes. They love me and our office. They say that our office is the only Federal office that gives out smiles. I need to switch personalities – be a little more Mary (did you see what I did here) at home and a little more George at work.

    Sounds like I didn’t get enough sleep last night.

    Laurie in NB (Lucy’s mom)


  32. Thank you for eating that sandwich so the rest of us don’t have to. I mentioned this concoction to my husband and he said “oh that must be in response to Taco Bell’s Dorito taco pacos” or some such nonsense. Like it was a political maneuver. He’s the Rainman of fast food. Can’t remember to stop at the grocery store on his way home, but he can tell you the exact date and time when McDonalds forgot to put two slices of cheese on a double cheeseburger.

    Life needs more balance in general. When I read about your Lone Wolf womanhood, I find myself longing for just a touch of that. My life is too full of people sometimes. I mean, I love every last one of them – many of them I gave birth to, so I better – but sometimes I just could use a bit of alone. Just a tad. I am kind of the pole that holds the whole circus tent up around here, so there’s just no letting it lean a bit. I know that doesn’t help much, but there it is.

    And as for Whole Foods, just ugh. I can never figure out exactly where they want me to put the groceries at the check out and always manage to get it wrong. It’s just not intuitive. Give me the long belt and I’m all set. Do I put them on the little shelf at the end? Cram them into that little spot between the register and the other shelf? Do I just hold them all and hand them over one at a time? HOW DO I DO IT? And then take all of my money on top of it. No thanks.

    Lovely post lovely June. The kittens are growing like weeds! And the weeds are growing like kittens!


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