New Jersey is breathtaking, PSAs

Knock, knock! Who’s there? THE WORST NEIGHBORS EVER!

A year and a half ago, I moved into a quaint two-family home. There aren’t many historic houses in the area, and my entryway bears a unique mark of pride:

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Of course, this agèd gem comes with a few charms that some might find off-putting: low ceilings, slanted floors, light switches to nowhere, and my personal favorite:

Ghost cows.

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The house is a renovated cow barn, and late at night, I can almost hear the far-off cattle cries.

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I think they’re coming from the beam where I hide my flask.

I haven’t told anyone this, but I stopped eating meat a few months ago, and my top theory is that the ghost cows took over my body.

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Jules circa 2014
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Jules circa 2016

In fact, now that I think about it, the cows were probably behind the sconce incident of April 2015.

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But I digress.

Recently, my quiet and respectful human and living neighbors, with whom I share a very, very (did I say very?) thin wall, moved out. I recall overhearing something about “carpenter bees” and “allergies,” but I was too busy Googling Yankee candle scents to appease undead livestock to fully appreciate their rationale.

Strange families were suddenly perusing the now-vacant apartment next door. This past weekend, I stepped outside and nearly collided with an older gentleman.

“You’ve probably surmised that I’m looking at the apartment,” he said in an I’m-just-a-guy-who-likes-hugs-and-hey-I-wonder-how-many-human-heads-will-fit-in-that-freezer tone.

“Ah,” I replied, avoiding eye contact and wondering why his tour included my half of the yard.

Uncle Jesse, my dog, barked loudly from inside.

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This is the actual apartment ad. Oops.

Since this run-in, I haven’t been able to shake the nightmares of what who might move in next door.

Please, help prepare me: What’s your worst neighbor story?

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My lucky bamboo (a housewarming gift) committed suicide long ago. I need all the help I can get.

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Animals, humor

Deer Neighbor: I’m Not Okay With This.

DISCLAIMER: Animals were hurt during the making of this post. Really hurt. Like Bambi’s mother hurt. 

This weekend, Babs, my mom, sent an email with two troubling pictures attached. The email was entitled, He Finally Snagged One.

She was quite put out, because her neighbors recently constructed what she called The Gallows in their backyard. Every time Babs set foot on her porch, this monstrosity was in plain sight.

Before I show you these pictures, you need to understand that my parents live in suburban New Jersey, in a town full of white-collar yuppies who take the local train into Manhattan for work. They shop at Pottery Barn. They buy artisanal bread. Their kids play lacrosse.

In my parents’ world, the world in which I grew up, people have graduation parties and swing sets in their back yards. They do not have…well. This:

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I’m sorry, Babs. If it makes you feel any better, now that Peppermeister and I are out in western New Jersey, we have deer in our backyard every day, too.

Of course, they’re still alive…

Do you have any neighbor horror stories? No? Any good venison recipes?

Guilty Flavor of the Week, Lists, Uncategorized

A NOTE-worthy Guilty Pleasure

There’s nothing better than a guilty pleasure born of what shouldn’t be funny, but in fact soooo is! I have 3 notes to share with you, and the best part is they’re all real. As in, I’ve seen them with my own two beady little eyes just this past week!

#1 – Dangerous Mind

My husband has been helping out a new fellow teacher at work, whose taste in memo pads makes a little piece of him die inside. Last week, he left her an ‘inspirational’ note, quoting one of her many memo pads. Just to see if she would notice. She didn’t. She now operates under the very false assumption that my husband is a dream-weaver, and, well, I really can’t think of anything better.

#2 – The Backed-Up Boy Who Lived

Spotted this weekend outside of our local Wal-Mart, there’s no way this can be considered vandalism.

#3 – Neighborly Love Hate

A dear (the dearest) friend of mine often receives notes like this from her neighbor, which is something to consider if you’re thinking about moving into a gated community. This note is one of many from Unit 12 and will be filed with the rest – under Trashy Fiction.