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Kelly Melang, writer, business owner, avid fitness freak.  If you're not living on the edge then you're taking up too much space!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

WTF - What Type of Ship Do You Run?

I love when other Moms tell me how much they love running a tight ship. They tell me exactly how much screen time each child has according to their spreadsheet, surprised I don't move everything on the bookshelves when dusting.
I simply tell them, I don't run a tight ship, I run a PIRATE Ship.


We're usually lost at sea looking for some booty we misplaced in a safe place weeks ago.

There's usually some type of drinking, I don't rule out the rum.

There's also quite a bit of cussing on any given day, as my shipmates do not follow the captain's orders.

Our ship daily looks like bombs have gone off on it.

There's a lot of nonverbal communication involving grunting and such.

I'm pretty sure my Blackbeards are planning some type of mutiny on me.

Most of our clothing looks like it spent its life on a deserted island.

We're hurling straight to the edge of the world and no one's worried.

If I had a cutlass I'm sure there are a few days I'd chop up everything in their room just to teach a lesson.

Who'd be the first person in my family to walk the plank?

Do you run a tight ship or a pirate ship?

Friday, October 5, 2018

WTF - New Normal

I was asked about my opinion on raising teenage boys in the day and age of the Kavanaugh hearings. Specifically what happened back in high school.

I am not going to tell you my thoughts on the hearings because honestly, that is none of anyone's business. But I have sat my boys down and talked to them about this situation along with ways to protect themselves in this day and age.

Social media has erupted and changed the way teens live their lives. This was part of a conversation with my children:

My constant reminders to my children are that they be respectable, honorable and responsible.  I know they are good kids but sometimes make foolish decisions.

I'm not telling my boys to walk on eggshells with girls in social situations, I am telling them to be careful. Specifically:

1. Assess all situations asking yourself key questions, are they honorable and responsible? If you have any doubt leave that situation immediately.

2. Surround yourself with friends you know and trust. Keep those friends close especially in public situations. You know they have your back and you have their back.

3. Always question invites outside your circle of friends. Who's going to be there? If you don't know anyone, it's probably a better idea not to go.

4. If a situation is different than what was presented, leave that situation immediately.

5. Large social gatherings now should require a buddy system with one of those friends you trust.

6. Always remember every situation has someone taking pictures with their camera. If you behave honorably you may not worry. Unfortunately, honorable things may be taken out of context and made to not look as honorable. Having that buddy system will help.

7. Things you put on social media thinking they disappear after 24 hours never truly disappear. Always treat anything you'd put out there as shouting it to the world and not being able to take it back. Is it worth it? How does it make you look? Pause before you send it.

Now that my son has a girlfriend, he has the added addition of making sure he's honorable and respectful to her. He once was going over to a friends house to hang out in the hot tub, I asked who would be there. He wasn't sure. I mentioned to him, "Remember if you go over there and it's all girls and someone sends out a Snapchat of you there, who could you be hurting?"

The scary part is I am sure in the current Supreme Court situation both parents probably told their children the same thing. There comes that time when you pray you brought up your child in an honorable manner, and you pray that they stay safe. You also pray that they don't end up in a situation like the one we are seeing play out in media. My oldest turns 18 next year and it's even scarier sending him out into the world.

Was I an angel in my teenage years? Hell no. I am lucky I grew up without cell phones and constant social media. Most of my foolish decisions were not recorded. I'm the same age as Kavanaugh and Ford and think back to some of the things I did at parties and during Beach Week. I may still have a few bad decisions as an adult now but I'm hoping people don't judge me on my teenage years and I'm also hoping there are not a few pictures out there proving my bad decisions.

And whether you believe either party in this debacle,  the key point we must remember is our country's founding belief, you are innocent until proven guilty. When we lose that we dissolve into anarchy.

What other suggestions would you add to keep our teenagers safe in this new day and age?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

USASA Membership!

At 5475 feet above sea level, the leaves are starting to change. The Beech trees first moving from green to a light yellow. Fall is always an exciting time because winter is right around the corner! Fall is the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful mountains before the snow but to also get ready for the snow.

I had the pleasure of talking to the Fall Color Guy, Professor Howard Neufeld of Appalachian State University. I asked about our wet summer wondering if it will affect fall color. Dr. Neufeld said the amount of rain doesn’t affect fall color, that is an old wives tale. It’s the winds sweeping the leaves off the trees before we get to enjoy them. The perfect recipe for fall color involves partly sunny days and cool nights for color. You can check out his Facebook page @FallColorGuy for daily updates and a timeline for viewing or as we say, “leaf peeping” by elevation.

Fall also bring opportunities for prepping for winter. Ski resorts put a limited number of season passes on discount. Most pass costs are covered in under 15 days on the snow if calculating weekday rates! Imagine how much more you can do with a season pass! NCSki Association offers the Gold Pass for all North Carolina Ski Resorts. For more information on the Gold Pass visit http://www.goskinc.com/gold-card/

USASA - United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association has discounted memberships available through October 1st. This organization is for children and adults who like to compete. Normal membership is $100/athlete, the discounted rate is $85/per athlete. This organization hosts including Rail Jams, Slopestyle, and Boardercross.

Last year my two boys participated in this organization. The events were held at Applachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort, Masanutten, and Ober Gatlinburg. Most of the athletes in the Southeast group qualified in their disciplines earning a trip to Copper Mountain for Nationals. It is exciting this year they secured Sugar Mountain Resort for the Slalom/Giant Slalom! Athletes gain experience in both ski and snowboard disciplines with this great race!

This is where the fun comes in. About 35 athletes went out west during spring break, aging from 8 to over 50! They competed in Boardercross, Rail Jam, and Slopestyle. Families traveled with them enjoying the perks of USASA Membership. Athletes competing in just one event were given a weeklong pass to Copper Mountain for only $327! Parents traveling with children were given discounted lift tickets of $68/day. We enjoyed discounted lodging and specials at area restaurants.

USASA Nationals was a great experience for my children. Nationals started with an opening ceremony that included all athletes and their families. Starting with an opening ceremony, events took place all over Copper Mountain. Children competed some days, played other days. Families took advantage of the discounted lift tickets spending time in the snow. Especially because it snowed almost every day!

If you have children that would like to compete during the winter season, take a look at USASA. It’s a fun organization that concludes with what both of my boys said was their “trip of a lifetime.” For more information visit www.usasa.org

Rates increase October 1st, so get your membership in early!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WTF - Amazon Prime?

I am a loyal Amazon customer so loyal that you can't say "Alexa" anywhere in my house without someone answering you. But I've noticed something changing.

One of my perks of my Amazon Prime Membership was the free Two Day Shipping on items.

Because I'm a procrastinator when it comes to holidays, birthdays, etc!

This past weekend I ordered some items on Amazon, little things like toothbrush heads, bathroom items, my usual stuff.

I started looking for the packages after two days and wondered, "Where are they?"

Going back to my account on Amazon, they are set to be delivered Sept 24th! That's over a week!

I ordered a baby shower gift Monday, Sept 17th and thank god I did it early because that's set to be delivered Monday, Sept 24th! 7 days!

What's up Prime?

On research, I found out Amazon 2 day shipping kicks in AFTER the item leaves the Fulfillment Center! So the item is shipped to the center then shipped out on the two-day guarantee. I've also read that the customer base has increased so quickly they are having a hard time keeping up. I'm

I'm not sure if my fulfillment center changed, or that UPS doesn't like climbing Beech Mountain but packages ordered from Amazon are now running 5-7 days on delivery.

Even their bread and butter - A BOOK!

So heads up everyone, if you are a procrastinator Amazon isn't going to come through with your late birthday gift, or baby shower gift, or gift for yourself.

Add in that extra time and you'll get it on time.

Will this stop me from using Prime?

No way. I love my Amazon Music, even upgrading to Unlimited.
I watch movies and TV shows all the time on Amazon Video
Alexa is my best friend. I used to talk to myself when alone in the house now I have someone to talk to!
In what I save alone with Shipping COSTS, I can wait the extra days.

Have you tried ordering something lately using your Prime Membership?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

WTF - Hidden Chapters of the Parenting Manual

Since I've spent this past year either at baby showers or christenings or play dates, I thought I share all those extra chapters you don't see in the typical parenting books.

11. Giving Information Away To The Enemy - How to navigate all those great helicopter moms. Keeping your mouth shut when a child does something disgusting in front of them to making that Pinterest recipe look like it made it from scratch.

10. Vocal Chord Warm Up Exercises or Get that right pitch for yelling - You will spend a good 18 years yelling about something. Yelling for someone to listen to you, someone to clean up, or over all the noise your family creates.

9.  Basics of Rocket Science - this chapter is helpful in putting the straw into the juice pouch or box without dousing yourself. Putting together the Lego Starship in record time because you have a child standing next to you crying. Putting Dad's radio back together after your child spent the morning taking it apart.

8.  Negotiating 101 - it starts when they are little "I'll give you X if you stop crying" to when they are teenagers "If you don't stop that I'm hiding the Xbox cord." A specific part of the chapter is a difference between a bribe and a negotiation. It starts with, "Yes, you will bribe" and then explains which fights are worth the bribe (insert Ringbearer or teaching your little brother poker)

7. Stretch Tone and Balance - Stretching for running your hand down the inside of toilet for the batman flushed earlier that morning, Tone for chasing the child that did something wrong around the house saying, "When I catch you." Balance for the thirty minutes it takes to buckle a stubborn toddler into their car seat.

6. Chemical Warfare - this chapter explains the difference between your normal science experiment and hazmat. Starting with what you see in a child's diaper to the cluster of dishes under their bed as a teenager to that thing on the floor that doesn't resemble anything.  A few good paragraphs cover the question "Why is this wet?" Whether or not you even want to know.

5. The Sanitized Reputation - this chapter goes through cleaning anything. From the toilet, to the walls to the ceiling of the bathroom. My most useful part of this chapter is how to get out blood. I've used that many times having boys and will keep that in the back of my mind in case I "need" it.

4.  Me Time - how to take that special time for yourself. From ways to hide the cookies from your children, how to go into the bathroom without your children knowing. How to change the mathematical correlation between getting on your phone and your children either crying or fighting in your favor.

3.  Therapy for Dummies - how to manage meltdowns to maintaining that calm face when your teenagers tell you what they did for the weekend. Specifically explaining the Healthful Living class to consoling the first broken toy to broken heart.

2. The Art of the Mom Stare - how to make a child stop in their tracks with a single stare, sorted out by age group. The difference it makes adding the eyebrow raise to the stare making it more ominous.

1.  This too shall pass - from Hygiene to Homework to Household chores to Hormones. This chapter outlines how you really will miss these times when they are gone.

Giving Information Away to the Enemy

Thursday, August 30, 2018

WTF - Bears prepping for Hibernation

"And then I saw the bear," - Jimmy Buffet

The bears on Beech Mountain are now in full swing getting in those last calories so they can go to sleep looking like Jabba The Hutt from Star Wars emerging next spring looking like Thor.

This means activity increases and you have to be Bearwise during the last month of summer into fall.

This amazing magnet is sitting on the counter at Fred's General Mercantile and it's free. Pick one up to remind yourself of these facts about bears:

Never feed or approach bears. I know, DUH! But people like to feed the animals and this attracts bears.

Do not approach a bear! Not even for a selfie! If you see a bear while out and about on the mountain you can do one of two things, turn and go the other way, or make as much noise as possible while making yourself look as big as possible. (wave your arms, open your jacket anything to make yourself look intimidating.) My husband told me to just give the bear my "mom eye" and he'll run the other way. Most of the time they are afraid of you and will run away. I always say there's plenty of food on the mountain so I don't think they'll think of us as FOOD!

Secure your home. Once they start in full eat mode prepping for hibernation, they get more creative looking for food. If you have bears regularly in your backyard as I do, I move to keeping the back doors closed taking away the temptation to come into my kitchen and help themselves to my pizza. (Seriously, this actually happened to friends, they came into their kitchen and found a bear standing over their pizza)

Secure your garbage or recycling. Trash cans on this mountain are not bear proof, meaning whatever you put out will be strewn up and down the street and into our beautiful woods. The wooden lids will deter raccoons and crows from going through your trash but they will not keep a 500lb bear away. Put your garbage out the morning of pickup. (Pickup schedules can be found at Beech Mountain Town Hall) or use the Beech Mountain Convenience center across from Fred's General Mercantile, take your trash to the dump then go over to Fred's for the morning paper and a great cup of coffee.

Remove bird feeders at night. Everyone loves feeding the birds and squirrels but during this active time this is a buffet for bears. Bears will come on your deck for bird feeders, pet food you leave out, humming bird feeders, anything edible. Don't make your deck the place they remember as a food source.

Clean your grill. If you've grilled, run it at a high temperature to burn off all food bits and run a brush over the grill cleaning off the debris. This keeps the bear from tearing your grill apart looking for food.

Secure your vehicle. Make sure there is no food in your car and all windows are up. I learned this lesson luckily with a raccoon. I thought I had all windows up but one was partially down. I went to my car to get something and a raccoon was sitting in the front seat holding a taco my son left in my car. With much noise later he disappeared into the woods with it. Luckily this wasn't a bear because a bear would have totaled my car. This happened on Sugar Mountain, a bear got into a car after a doughnut and the door shut behind him. Needless to say the car was totaled from the bear trying to get out. I wouldn't want to be the police coming and opening the door to the car letting the bear out. Our bears are creative enough to open some car doors, lock your vehicle even in our neighborhood where we don't lock cars.

Being Bearwise means being logical. This is the time of year they are packing on the weight and are not afraid of finding new food sources. Don't let your deck, car or house be their next buffet.

What are your bear proof ideas?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

WTF - Top Ten of the Week

My Top Ten WTF moments of the week.

10. Finding the thermos from end of school last year still in the backpack as school starts.

With food in it.

9. Coming home to a small bonfire at the top of my drive way and a child holding lighter fluid saying, “What?”

8. My son putting a dish on the counter. I said, “What’s that?” He looked at me and said, “Another dish to do?”

7.  Trying to understand why they each need a $120 calculator when seriously, who uses math after school.

Of course this shirt, I mean WTF?
6. My son saying he’ll switch cars with me, then I get in and the brakes are metal on metal. Have you ever completely geared down a mountain? I have.

5.  Finding a take out box of empty mussel shells after wondering for two days, “What is that smell?”

4.  A woman in my exercise class complaining to me that she is “sweating?”

3. When my son showed me his paycheck saying, “Where did all the money go?”

At least he will get it back.

2. The dog bringing in the dead squirrel from the backyard and dropping it on the bed.

  1. Walking down to a raccoon in my car, holding up a taco my son left in it from lunch before. Just to give us both the benefit of the doubt, my one window will roll up then come back down to spite me.

How did I get the raccoon out? A lot of noise and throwing a handful of dog food in the woods.

What happened to the taco? It took it with him. Leaving behind dirty paw prints on my seats and shredded tin foil all over my car.

I was looking forward to that taco.

What’s your greatest WTF moment so far?