9 Tips for Traveling Through the Tunnel and Across the Bay

There are a lot of wonderful things about living in the Mobile Bay area. The Wallace Tunnel and Bay Bridge are not two of them. Even if we accept the necessity of their construction in our world, the very thought of having to travel through the tunnel and across the Bayway can cause a visceral reaction in even the most hardened of Mobile drivers. To help, here are nine tips for traveling the tunnel and Bayway:

1.Don’t
a.Avoid it if possible. Take the Africatown Bridge and Causeway while laughing at the line of cars stuck on the other side. Go north and take the Dolly Parton Bridge, if possible. It might even be faster to go down to Dauphin Island and ride the ferry to the other side. You probably won’t waste that much extra time.
2.Make Friends
a.While waiting to get into the tunnel and then while trying to inch your way across the interstate, try to embrace your situation and make friends with those around you. You’re all stuck together so roll down your window and chat up the person next to you. I like to imagine this is what motorist are doing when they lean out their window to talk to me while I cut across lanes around slower cars. They’re always very passionate about making friends as well, screaming and shaking their fist.
3.Rent a Helicopter
a.Just fly over. It’s like a ferry for the air. Park your car on one side of the bay and ride over, taking an Uber to wherever you need to go, then do the whole thing in reverse when it’s time to go home. This is actually a genius idea. I’m should talk to the Mobile and Daphne government officials about this; it could be the carpool lane of the future. Who knows the civil engineers to build the helipad?
4.Take a Boat
a.You’re driving under and then over a bay. The whole time you’re creeping along in traffic, you’re surrounded by an excellent means of alternative travel! Why are you sitting on the road in a stuffy car? We live on the bay, use the channels to your advantage! Sure you have to drop in farther up the road and ride your way through streams and rivers, but still, it’s got to be more freeing then the hot asphalt.
5.Tunnel Underneath
a.Take a page out of the book of the Wallace Tunnel and just continue the progress. Need to use a spoon like a prison break? Would still be faster. We get enough tunnels going and there will never be congestion again.
6.Be Content
a.One way to assure you never ever have to worry about the headache that is the tunnel and Bayway is to just be content; forever remain on your side of the water, never to see the other shore. There are plenty of amenities on both sides. Do we really need the Eastern Shore and vice versa? I’m pretty proud of my side so I’ll just stay over here.
7.Bring a Book
a.You’re guaranteed to get at least five minutes of uninterrupted parking lot time. Bring a book and catch up on a few chapters while waiting to creep into the tunnel and for the expected gridlock that comes about a mile onto the Bayway.
8.Take a Nap
a.A book not your style? Use the time to take a nap. Motorist around you will be nice enough to wake you up with a few taps of the horn when it’s time to start moving again.
9.Anger Management
a.Since you probably won’t be able to avoid the frustration no matter how hard you try, use the time to get out your anger instead. When you try to wrap around to the tunnel from downtown Mobile through this new convoluted system that someone thought was a good idea or everyone slows to a crawl for no discernable reason, embrace that moment and release any pent up feelings of irritation. Blow your horn, call the person in front of you an idiot (with the windows up!), and just get everything out that’s been making you mad for the past few days. It’s a great moment of emotional dumping and the best foreseeable reason for suffering through the tunnel and Bayway.

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9 Things Mobilians Understand That No One Else Will

Every city has a personality and only those that live there can truly understand and appreciate it. This is never truer than in Mobile, a city that constantly surprises with new idiosyncrasies while remaining interesting with older ones that created the Port City’s character in the first place. Here are nine things only Mobilians will understand about the place they call home.

 

  1. Mardi Gras Is Ours
    1. New Orleans can say whatever they want because Mobilians know the truth. Bienville and Iberville started Carnival here on 27-Mile Bluff in 1703, more than 20 years before they took it to the Bayou. When the Civil War took away the festivities for a while, it was Mobilian Joe Cain who brought it back with a racket still celebrate today on Joe Cain Day (a holiday no other Carnival city can claim). It’s a fact that Mobilians are proud of and will quickly “educate” anyone who says otherwise.
  2. Dauphin Island Is Awesome
    1. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach get the accolades and the tourists and the HGTV shows—and deservedly so—but Mobilians know the true treasure lies on Dauphin Island. We’re ok with the secret not getting out because that stretch of land is perfect for those of us just needing a quick day in the sun. The Gulf on one side provides the necessary white beaches while the Bay on the other side gives boaters and kayakers inlets and open areas to take advantage of the water.
  3. Mobile Is Strangely Haunted
    1. Savannah claims to be the nation’s most haunted city and it’s one it came by honestly, but travelers looking to head west for a bit of spook won’t be disappointed with what they find in Mobile. The old mansions all have their own tales of household ghosts and the countless battles in the city have left an eerie air. The city itself is haunted—don’t believe me? Head to Church Street Cemetery and research the Boyington Oak.
  4. The Architecture is Second to None
    1. Take a ride down Government Street and you’ll see buildings boasting every type of architecture from Roman Gothic to French Revival. The different cultural influences are evident in every building that dots the cities historical areas. And it’s not just the front face. Head inside the Battle House Hotel to try out the “Whispering Arch.” While in Cathedral Square, look up to admire the domes of the Basilica. If you need to take it all in at once, visit the History Museum’s Doll Room where miniature dollhouses of Mobile’s grandest architectural beauties are open for viewing.
  5. Mobile’s Cultural Door is Wide Open
    1. Sitting at the bottom of the state known as “The Heart of Dixie,” Mobile seems like it would be the epitome of the Deep South and in many ways it is; but the city also has something many others in the area don’t. As we will see in the next point, Mobile is home to major international industries leading to a city teeming with different cultures. Those of us who’ve grown up here have often gone to school or church with those of different nationalities. It opens a door to unique cuisines and traditions (like the Dragon Race at the Battleship) that those of us from Mobile are lucky enough to learn from. It makes sense for a city that has been a part of six different nations throughout its history.
  6. The City is Hugely Important to Industry
    1. A ride over the Africatown Bridge is like a glimpse into worldwide industry. From Austal to Airbus, some of the world’s biggest companies set up shop in Mobile and for those of us from the area, we know it’s the perfect place for such businesses. The warm weather, dry inland and access to waterways are ideal. We also know to look up when heading into the Bankhead Tunnel westbound for an up-close look at Austal’s next big project.
  7. It’s Becoming an Entertainment Hotspot
    1. For a while there you couldn’t walk around downtown without finding yourself in a Nicholas Cage photo-op. The state’s tax incentives have brought production companies to the area where they take advantage of the vast landscapes (pine forests to beaches), range of cityscapes (historical to modern), access to unique settings (Battleship Park alone offers everything you need for a WWII movie) and swings of weather (you can shoot a rain scene and blue-sky scene in the same afternoon!) to shoot movies, music videos, marketing tools, and more. And it’s not just film; the music scene provides Mobilians with intimate concerts at places like the Soul Kitchen and major headliners at The Wharf and Hangout Festival—the latter of which fills MTV programming for three straight days!  
  8. Mobile Is One of the Nation’s Oldest Cities
    1. For years Mobile was known as the City of Six Flags, due to the different nation’s it has flown under through the years. It’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in American and one of the first founded communities. Started in 1702, the city has been through 300 years of wars and nationality shifts and celebrations and political events, giving it a deep and versatile history that few other cities can even begin to boast.
  9. The Food Can’t Be Beat
    1. People want to tell you that it’s the surrounding areas that know how to do their respective foods right. New Orleans has the Creole\Cajun cuisine; Birmingham has mastered barbeque and it’s only the south that sits in the foothills of the Appalachians, Smokies and Ozarks that really know how to do down home cooking, right? Wrong. While each of those areas are deserving in their own right, here in Mobile we’ve found a way to tap into all of them, not as a way of stealing, but just by the good grace of being in an area that holds all of the same qualities of those other places. Throw in the seafood that is always fresh from the Gulf and you really can’t find a better place for foodies to thrive.

Why Does Success Always Come With Enemies? Does It Have To Be This Way?

The ladder to the top is built on the shoulders of those below you. Even if you were able to achieve success without stepping on anyone to get there, this is still unfortunately the first thing others will assume when viewing your rise. But why is this the case? Why does success come with enemies, and does it really have to be this way?

 

The most common reason these two are synonymous is simply bitterness. You were able to achieve something that someone else was not and they’re upset—usually at themselves more than anything for feeling like they’ve failed but it’s much easier to direct that at the one they envy. It’s important to remember that they don’t hate your success; they begrudge the fact that you were able to obtain it when they couldn’t for whatever reason. The easiest thing to combat this is to offer support.  You don’t want to come off haughty because that will only make the problem worse. If you humbly share your expertise as a way to help someone else get to the same point as yourself, then you’re taking what could have been an opportunity for them to be bitter and turning it into a feeling of appreciation. Make sure you share your mistakes so the other person doesn’t feel as bad for those they will inevitably make one day in the future.

 

Another reason success comes with enemies is because you might have actually stepped on someone else to get to where you are. Before you protest, just remember this doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person—even though you want to avoid this at all cost. The sad reality is though that it’s a dog eat dog world and it’s easy to get caught up in the race sometime. This leads to people doing what they must do to succeed. If you’ve found yourself in this situation it’s important to take responsibility. There are going to be people mad at you and they have every right to feel that way. When they do, apologize. Owning up to your actions and learning from them is vital to personal growth. We’ll never be at the top of the ladder forever, so on your next climb make sure to reach out to those working around you and offer support; also, don’t be afraid to ask for theirs. This gives them a sense of pride to be able to help you and in doing so you’ve created a mutual trust and partnership. As you grow in your success, you’ll create a web of support. By doing so you’ll find it’s much easier to move up if you’re helping each other as opposed to fighting each other to the top.

 

For years the rule has been that achievements would be met with scorn. This can become the exception though. While it’s normal for success to come with enemies, just remember there are ways to change that and they start with you.

When Life Hands You Grapes- Squash the Bitterness

Written by Guest Blogger- Kassidy

Mornings Suck

Sorry, not sorry about the language. I know some people love mornings and wake up ready to face the day. You people are what I call “magical morning marvels” (or weirdos-whatever). I wake up after all 4 of my alarms have gone off, I have hit snooze on each one at least twice and my husband has thrown a pillow(or something else) at me to get out of the bed.  Believe me, I have tried so hard to find a way to make waking up easier, sleeping medicine, going to bed earlier, sleeping with the TV off, prayer (lots of prayer), and finally I just accepted it. It is part of who I am. Here are 5 Reasons weekday mornings suck:

  • During the school year no one can find anything before 7:45am. Shoes are lost, homework is nowhere to be found, glasses are MIA and even the dogs go missing. (Yes I have been late trying to track down a rouge pug that decided to take himself for a morning walk.) There are days I threaten to send my kids to school with one shoe. I am sure I would get a call about a uniform infraction, but I am thinking it would be worth it.
  • It takes me 729 tries to leave my house. Somehow I forget every-singl- thing I need when I walk to the car. Then I have to come in to get each item individually. I can’t remember them all at once. No, I have to keep making repeat trips inside the house to make sure I wake everyone else up. “Keys are important”, must go back for those. “Wait, where did I put my phone?” “Man, I am going to need my Ipad today”, back in I go. “Did I put on makeup? Let me grab my makeup bag, maybe I can put it on when I get to the office.” Now my youngest has woken up and he wants breakfast.
  • Waking up a teenager (OEW) is like poking a grumpy, hormonal bear. Yeah some mornings she sets her alarm, but some morning genetics kick in and she snoozes that baby 4 times and it’s over. Her precious little Face scrunches up at me and makes noises I have not heard before. (I can’t say I blame her)
  • Waking up an 8 year old (SA) is like something out of a zombie movie. He refuses to get out of bed so we have to carry him to our bathroom to get him ready. (notice I said we, yeah my husband, BD, is usually in charge of this task). Once we sit him on the ground he usually refuses to open his eyes, which makes using the restroom and brushing his teeth super fun!
  • The tunnel traffic is rough in the morning y’all. I only have to drive across the bay in the mornings about twice a week. Don’t get me wrong, if I had left earlier (see above regarding missing shoes, pugs, and cell phones) then the drive would be very beautiful and enjoyable, but I didn’t, so it’s not. If it rains, you can forget about getting to or from Mobile. And why for the love of sweet little baby Jesus does everyone hit their brakes in the tunnel?

I want to clarify; weekend mornings are a completely different story. No alarms, no missing keys, no tunnel traffic, or brake lights, just coffee and snuggles. I love sitting on the back porch, sipping my coffee while watching the egrets catch their breakfast in the retention pond behind out house. Usually after about 30 minutes or so one of kiddos wakes up and joins me and it’s the start to a great day. This must be what the “magical morning marvels” experience on weekday mornings. I wish I could say I would change, but it is unlikely. I am not a morning person. Sorry, not sorry.

When Life Hands You Grapes, Hit Snooze.

10 Things I Believe as a Business Owner

Owning a business has its perks, such as making your own hours, numerous learning opportunities, sleepless nights, anxiety, and the list goes on. It also has a few disadvantages. Bad things happen like a client leaves, an employee quits, or people say things that aren’t true. These are the moments that define who you are as a person, not just a business owner. I have certain beliefs that I have held since I started this business and I want to share them with anyone who is bored enough to read this mess. This list is supposed to be a reminder of what I believe so when things happen I don’t lose sight of who I am.

  • Always work hard. Nothing in life worth having comes easy. (just ask any mother, business owner or homeowner) People will recognize your hard work even when you don’t think they notice.
  • Tell the truth even when it’s hard. People respect the truth even when it is not what they want to hear.
  • Treat people kindly. Even rude, mean, misguided people could use a kind gesture. Usually a kind act can change someone’s attitude for the better. Reaching out a simple olive branch, such as inviting them for coffee, or sending flowers, can turn a frown into a smile and possibly turn that rude misunderstood person into a friend.
  • Not everyone is meant to be your client. Some people just aren’t a good fit for you, whether they hold different ideas about business, don’t understand the importance of what you do, or are a conflict of interest, it is best to try to be honest with these people (and yourself) as soon as possible.
  • Try to find the best in people. It can be difficult to find the good in some people. Trust me though, you will enjoy someone’s company a lot more if you can find reasons they are favorable instead of reasons they are not.
  • Accept responsibility for your actions. We are all going to make mistakes (we are human). It is way easier to just admit you messed up, apologize, and come up with a plan to fix the problem, rather than covering it up.
  • Let the little things go. This has everything to do with patience. Every battle is not worth fighting and every comment is not worth responding to. Listen, nod, and let it go.
  • Treat employees like family. The people who work for you are the heart of your business. Although not every employee will stick around forever, (sigh) you can try to make the experience they have working for you enjoyable and memorable.
  • Don’t forget your family. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in running a business, we forget the ones who support us at home. I especially have been guilty of this, working on weekends or networking events on school nights. It is ok to say no to some of these things to spend time with your family.
  • Share your blessings. I find so many business owners who already do this and admire them so much. When you are able to give back, do it! Volunteer, donate, lend a helping hand or share advice. Small things matter just as much as large gestures.
  • Bonus: Don’t let other people measure your success for you. Your success is yours to determine. Set small goals so you can celebrate them at each milestone and don’t let someone else’s idea of success get in your way.

I wish I could say I had practiced everything I just wrote about every day. These are the traits I try to remember and put into practice when running Southern View Media. I sometimes have to remind myself what is important. That is why this list, in written form, came to be. I am sure there are hundreds of principles I have missed, overlooked or forgotten about. Leave a comment and let me know something that is important to you as business owner.

When Life Hands You Grapes, Don’t Compromise Your Beliefs.

5 Ways Life In South Alabama Isn’t What It Seems In “Hart Of Dixie”

I have some friends from Florida who are taking their first trip to South Alabama—Fairhope in particular—this summer. One of their first questions? “Is it anything like Bluebell?” I laughed and assured them Fairhope was the inspiration for the wonderfully perfect, fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama from The CW’s foregone “Hart of Dixie”.

“Hart of Dixie” was one of those boutique shows that never should have succeeded yet hung around long enough that the mere mention of its name now brings a smile to the face of those comparing notes about the show with their friends. Thanks in large part to its fairly accurate representation of life in a small town in South Alabama.

While compiling a list for this article of ways the show misrepresented the area, I kept coming up with ideas but only to kept having to stop and say “nope actually that’s true, we do have things like strawberry festivals” or “oh wait, I can’t actually say that they blew the Iron Bowl rivalry out of proportion because really it was too mundane on the show” and of course “wow, I didn’t realize I knew that many girls actually named Magnolia”.

For a show that was built on, what some would call outlandish and outrageous, adaptions of the true Heart of Dixie, for four seasons the writers were kind and caring of our beloved state. However…it was still a Hollywood version and there were some things that would sneak into the script that had every native Mobile and Baldwin County residents laughing out loud.

  1. There is no way on God’s green south Alabama earth that Rachel Bilson’s hair would ever look consistently that good with this humidity. I might could begrudgingly give her a few days in February or maybe a couple in October—with lots of hairspray—but the curls fell too soft too often to be believable by anyone that has tried to blow-dry their hair for a wedding in June (impossible) and knowingly packed extra ponytail holders in their purse. 
  2. For some reason there’s a misconception in Hollywood that if the setting is in a place where animals are commonplace that said animals must run rampant. On the series premier, Bilson’s Zoe Hart encountered an alligator on a road while walking into town. There were numerous other occasions that wild animals crossed paths with the townspeople, usually to amusement, but unrealistically so. In real life, alligators tend to stay in the swamp while cows and horses, shocker, stay behind the fence.
  3. The characters on Hart of Dixie seem to have a perpetual sheen of sweat glistening their faces because, well, they’re in south Alabama; but it persists even when they’re in a situation that should beget cool air. Then there’s the heat wave that causes everyone to go loco like it’s a full moon at Halloween, a ploy Hollywood pulls a lot for these types of settings.  But those of us that are from here know to keep the air conditioner at 72 during the summer and have lived under enough August humidity blankets to not become psycho. Now sometimes southerners will try to make fun of northerners who are surprised by the heat by saying “Oh that’s just because you ain’t from here. You get used to it.” Well actually no, you don’t get used to; that implies you’re ok with the heat, which is never the case. But we do learn to live with it and we don’t act surprised when temperatures top 100 with 100% humidity…and our hair never looks as good as Zoe’s. I can’t get over that.
  4. One of the reasons “Hart of Dixie” was loved by Bay natives was the love notes the show would send the area. Shots of the Africatown Bridge, making the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion the Breeland home, correct geographical references, etc. But there was one episode when Zoe told her New York boyfriend, “Chickasaw? Ew we don’t go to Chickasaw.” Now I almost didn’t include this because for the past two decades it would’ve been true but any research a dramaturge would’ve done for the show would’ve turned up this fact. For the past few years, time during which “Hart of Dixie” ran, Chickasaw saw a return to the quaint town it was founded as cute cottages, sprawling oaks, and a beautiful waterfront park all are worth visiting. Plus Chickasaw has one of the few Whataburger’s in the area, which is worth a trip itself.
  5. The walls in the Rammer Jammer look remarkably like Ed’s Seafood Shack yet there is no Alabama Championship banner? Its absence is laughable. Sunday School rooms have championship banners and we’re supposed to believe A BAR NAMED THE RAMMER JAMMER doesn’t have one? Yea right.

When Life Hands you Grapes….Watch Hart of Dixie

Written by Guest Blogger- Kassidy

12 Things only Baldwin County People Will Understand

1.)  The feeling of complete terror when you’re on I-10 heading to Mobile and traffic stops.
2.)  Telling tourists it’s GULF Shores, not GOLF or GUF Shores. (While we’re at it, it’s not pronounced Mo-bull it’s Mo-beel)
3.)  Avoiding the bayway between 7-9 am, 4-6 pm, and any Friday before a holiday weekend.
4.)  Knowing exactly how many seconds you have to listen to static in the tunnel. (And holding your breath in the tunnel)
5.)  Going to the Shrimp festival, Jubilee festival, Strawberry Festival, and Arts and Crafts Festival (and eating way too much).
6.)  Waking up in the middle of the night to go check for a Jubilee.
7.)  Explaining to tourists from up north what real humidity is.
8.)  Knowing not to speed through Robertsdale on Hwy 59, ever.
9.)  Explaining to tourists (Especially those from New Orleans) that Mardi Gras was truly originated in Mobile. (And what Joe Cain Day is)
10.)  Going to the Grand Hotel for holiday meals. (And feeding the ducks)
11.) Rooting for your high school football team well after graduation. (Even though they’ll never be as good as they were when you were there)
12.)  The feeling of pure joy when you leave Mr Gene’s Beans with your coffee and ice cream at the Lighting of the Christmas Trees. (Yes we eat ice cream year around)

When Life Hands You Grapes……Move to Baldwin County.

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10 Things You Should Know About Jubilees

  1. Jubilees only occur in two places: The Eastern Shore of the Mobile Bay in Alabama and Tokyo Bay in Japan.
  2. A Jubilee occurs because hypoxic (low oxygen level) water forces bottom dwelling animals to the surface searching for oxygen.
  3. A Jubilee is more likely when the Bay is calm, because stagnant water causes the salt to settle at the bottom. This causes a salinity spike in the Bay bottom and poor oxygen levels.
  4. A Jubilee is more likely when it is hot outside because warm water holds less oxygen then cold water.
  5. A Jubilee is more likely after an afternoon shower because the rain washes alternate food sources into the Bay, leaving a higher level of phytoplankton than usual. Phytoplankton need dissolved oxygen to sustain life. (Especially at night- see #6)
  6. A Jubilee is more likely at night because phytoplankton cannot perform photosynthesis at night and use even more dissolved oxygen than during the day. (See how the oxygen level continues to get lower and lower?)
  7. A Jubilee is more likely when there is a gentle Easterly wind because the East wind will cause a surface current pushing the hypoxic water towards the Eastern Shore and forcing the animals in front of it. Remember, this has to be a gentle wind in order for the areas of dense salinity to not mix with the areas of fresh water and cause oxygen to circulate again.
  8. A Jubilee is more likely after low tide because as the water comes back out, the animals are forced closer to the shore with the tide to find oxygen in the water.
  9. The Mobile Bay is a good environment for a Jubilee because the water is shallow, allowing it to heat up quicker.
  10. The Mobile Bay is also a good environment for a Jubilee because it has several fresh water rivers around it that can cause layers of fresh water to pile on top of stagnant, high salinity water, making it so the water does not circulate (or mix).

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When Life Hands You Grapes…..Go To a Jubilee.

My Grandmother, The Toddler

When I was a little girl I would hang out with my grandmother at her beach house in Orange Beach.  She had a yellow convertible named Daisy and she loved to spoil me.  She cooked great meals and would buy me those Disney books at the grocery store every time we went.  Edna(my grandmother) was always working on some sort of project.  She once ran a pretty successful vacation based child care business called Beach Kids. I remember when she was creating her ad for the yellow pages with a picture of me in the ad!  I was famous!

I tell you all this so you know I love my grandmother.  She holds a special place in my heart and I choose to remember her in the ways above, not the way I see her today. Her behavior is just too damn funny to not share, though.

My mother, we will call her Mother Theresa Cindy, takes (mostly) excellent care of my grandmother.  She may bitch and moan about it, but the old lady is taken care of none the less.  Edna is a handful.  It’s like having a toddler, but without the cute pigtails and no one will let her stay the night with them to give you a break:

Reason number one Edna is like a toddler:  She won’t buy her dang food.  While Edna is willing, sometimes, to go to the grocery store with you, you would prefer she didn’t.  Think of the two year old you saw throwing a tantrum because her mother wouldn’t let her have the sugary cereal.  the Good Toddler Mom tells her no it will rot your teeth or your brain, or make you have ADHD or whatever good moms tell their kids.(my kids just get the damn sugary cereal cause that’s what I like) The toddler then sits on the floor in protest and refuses to leave the cereal isle until she gets the Sugary Diabetes Cubes in a box. The Good Toddler Mom then proceeds to pick up the cute little protestor and carry her down the isle kicking and screaming.  Now picture that scene with a 72 year old woman, only Mother Theresa Cindy can not pick up a 72 year old woman without someone calling Wal-mart security.

Reason number two Edna is like a toddler:  She won’t make her own food.  Although Edna once was an excellent cook, she now refuses to make anything in her own kitchen short of coffee.  Mother Theresa Cindy prepares dinners for her.  We learned the hard way that you cannot prepare more than one or two days worth of meals at a time.  Think about the 4 year old who gets left unsupervised with his bag of Halloween candy.  He tears open every Butterfinger and Jolly Rancher and eats them as fast as he can before someone can catch him and take away his precious sake of deliciousness. When his parents find him, he is passed out in the bag with candy wrappers and crumbs all around him.  You can see a few pieces of candy, probably the licorice or something else gross, next to the trash can where he tried to throw them away, but missed and was too lazy to get up and actually put them in the trash. When his parents find him and ask him what happened he claims he didn’t eat the candy.  It’s obvious that the cookie monster has broken in his room with the single intention of eating candy to get him in trouble.  The cookie monster also stuck a half eaten Jolly Rancher on his shirt and rubbed chocolate on his teeth.  Oh He’s goooood.  Now picture a 72 year old woman passed out in a recliner with her hand in a bag of chips surrounded by 12 half empty tupperware containers.  (Half empty, mind you, because she refused to eat the vegetables.) Those tupperware containers contained 6 days of food.  There are two banana peels by the trash can, where she tried to throw them away, but missed and didn’t want to waste her tupperware opening energy to pick them up.  There is also a can of Vienna Sausages opened, laying on their side, with the sausages missing and the juice dripping onto the glass table that is covered in chip crumbs and half eaten pieces of bread.  When I wake Edna from, what I am sure is a mini diabetic coma, I find two sausages stuck to her clothing.  When I point them out to her, she proceeds to eat them instead of throw them away.  She was apparently saving them for later.  When I ask her, “What happened to all the food” she proclaims meekly “I don’t know”.  Again, I ask, “Edna, you don’t know who ate all this food?”  She responds (a little louder and more sure of herself this time) “Nope”. BD says, “Ms. Edna, you expect us to believe someone broke into your apartment and ate 6 days worth of food while you slept through it?”  Then Edna says in her best baby voice, “It must’ve been me, I baaaaady”  BD and I look at each other as we spend the next hour cleaning up the mess while she watches us and complains because she’s not allowed in the kitchen until the floors dry.  (True Story)

Reason Number 3 Edna is like a toddler: She only plays/ does what she wants to do- Picture a family sitting at the dinner table with a board game set up:  Quality Time Dad, Family Night Mom, and their 3 year old daughter, They’re Gonna Let Me Win Susie.  Near the end of the game, QT Dad is about to win so TGLMW Susie quits.  She refuses to play anymore.  FN Mom decides to get out a puzzle.  TGLMW Susie refuses to do the puzzle.  She wants to play a different board game.  As FN Mom gets the next board game down TGLMW Susie starts doing the potty dance.  QT Dad suggests that TGLMW Susie go use the restroom before the game starts and she refuses.  In the end no games or puzzles are harmed but TGLMW Susie ends up wetting her pants and going to bed early.  You know what I’m gonna say next…..Now try that scenario with a 72 year old woman playing cards with my son, age 6 and my daughter, age 13.  They’re playing a riveting game of GO FISH.  Edna refuses to leave her recliner and come to the table so the kids are sitting in the crumbs on the floor around her.  75% of the way through the game, Edna is losing, so naturally she quits.  The kids continue to play so I, being the magnificent grand daughter that I am, get out a puzzle.  I ask Edna to help me build the puzzle and she says “No”.  I ask her why and she says in her best baby voice “I don’t want to”.  BD chuckles in the kitchen and then says “Edna, she only wants to help you keep your brain strong”.  Edna doesn’t respond and proceeds to open a bag of chips she must’ve had hidden in her chair.  That woman’s chair is like Mary Poppin’s bag.  Every time I look she is pulling another snack out of some secret crevice in the chair I didn’t know existed.  Then as we are about to leave I ask Edna to put on some pajamas and brush her teeth.  This time I don’t even get a response, just a head shake of no.  So I bring the tooth brush, tooth paste, a bowl, and a cup of water to her chair and brush her teeth for her.  I end up leaving her apartment with wet pants and go to bed early.

There are dozens of more comparisons to make here, but I am going to cut this short and go visit my Nanny.  I love the woman dearly.  There is never a dull moment with her around and she always keeps me and my family on our toes.  Remind me to tell you the story of taking her shoe shopping one day!

When Life Hands You Grapes……Visit Your Grandma.

Social Media Reality

When I wake up in the morning the heavens open up and the Angels sing. My breath smells like a fresh flower and not a hair is out of place on my head. Birds sing to me while I make my morning coffee and unicorns come out of my butt.

At least that’s what you’d think if you looked at my Facebook page.

You will see photos of my family on vacation, smiling and laughing. You will see my daughter winning awards at gymnastic meets around the country. You will see adorable pictures of my son playing basketball and getting MMA medals. You might even see us out to eat as a family or playing outside with our dogs and cat on a warm day.

You don’t see any  photos of the hour long fight my two precious Angels had on the way to that dream vacation.  No vidoes are posted of the fight they had in the car on the way to Disney World about who could see the streaming movie about an annoyingly cold princess better. Nor will you see a cute comment about the fight they had, while in a line as long as Texas in Universal Studios, to ride a 3D ride that felt eerily like my sister in law’s driving.  You might not see any posts about the tiff my husband and I had about the kids stepping on our feet, or the 29 things I counted I could push him off of while pouting over our little argument.

On a  side note  whoever thought they were being clever when they invented a room with two beds and one bathroom should be tarred and feathered!  Four people were not meant to share one bathroom.  Not to mention, if I don’t want to share a bed with you, I certainly don’t want to share a toilet seat or a shower drain full of your hair. Ok, back to the point.

I don’t usually post the videos of my daughter face planting when trying to learn a new skill a gymnastics. Although they are quite amusing at times.  I don’t post the pictures of Maddux getting pinned by a girl twice his size at MMA. And I defiantly don’t post the reason we went out to eat as a family that magical night was because no one went grocery shopping and I had used the oven earlier that day to hide the stuff I pulled out of the kids book bags all week and hadn’t bothered to read yet.

I’ve always posted to Facebook the happy stuff and thought “I just want to stay positive, for other people’s sake.  They don’t want to read my drama or hear my problems.”  That’s BS.  Other people’s problems are way funnier than your own.  I don’t laugh AT other people, I laugh with them of course.  If you read this blog for any length of time you will notice the unfortunate string of events that happen in our lives.  Most of them are quite funny, all of them we get through, some of them more annoying than others.  That’s why God gave me wine, or at least sour grapes so I could make my own.

When Life Hands You Grapes….Don’t Post it on Facebook, or Instagram (That’s Snapchat Material).