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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!

Monday, May 21, 2018

WTF - My Watchdog

I have a little dog. A little watch dog.

Or so I thought.

Yesterday after a successful trip to Linville Falls Winery for the Harris Brothers, Shawnee (my watchdog) and I came home for a little TV watching. My boys were out at a movie.

We watch TV, I fell asleep waiting on the kids to come home.

They do, just your normal Sunday night, right?

Until they go downstairs and I hear, "Jesus!" And a door slam.

Then, "Mom! Get down here!"

I go running downstairs and both boys doors to their rooms are shut and there's a....

Dog sitting in my downstairs living room, very comfortable on my couch.

Both boys peek out of their bedroom doors, "Who's dog is that?"

I'm like, "How did it get in here? and How long has it been in here?"

Turns out she was a shy but friendly dog, who rolled in bear shit. I knew who she belonged to because another friend came by the house a few hours earlier telling me to be on the lookout for said dog. So, my child's boss's dog ends up wandering into my home.

You can't make this shit up.

So I then turn to my WATCHDOG asking, "Did you invite her in? Did you two have a party while I was napping on the couch? Did you teach her to roll in bear shit like you do all the time?"

She warms up to me and makes me hold her until Daddy comes to get her, so now we both smell like bear shit.

She got home safe and sound, while my watchdog followed me upstairs saying, "So do I get a treat now?"

Folks, keep your doors closed if your watch dog doesn't know how to watch dog.

Friday, May 18, 2018

WTF - What Royal Wedding?

I'm confessing here, because I can hide behind my computer.

I'm not doing it.

I'm not going to watch the Royal Wedding.  Should I even capitalize that?

Nope, not gonna watch, haven't read any news about it, not going there.

I really don't care, honestly.

I'll look at those pictures of royal babies (should I capitalize that?) because babies are cute, but I'm not getting up at 6am on a SATURDAY to watch the wedding. I did that a long time ago with babies and now my sleep is precious to me.

If the Royal Wedding is important to you, then take a few minutes to place a few friendly wagers via Las Vegas Royal Wedding website. You can place a bet that------

Prince Harry will hold his current hairstyle and beard.

California wines will be served at the reception.

Meghan Markle will wear white (you should read the conversation on the internet about this one!)

What color hat will the Queen wear? (Seriously who cares, but the choices are endless)

Will the wedding carriage break down on the way to the church?

Will Prince William drop the wedding rings?

Who will cry at the wedding? My odds are with Prince Charles.

Who's going to get drunk and pass out at the reception? (Camilla??)

Then of course, that age old bet-----How long will the marriage last?

So put down your money, watch if you want but I'm looking at the back of my eyelids that early in the morning.

The only royalty in this household is the dog who thinks she is a queen.

Oh way back when, they bet Jeff and I wouldn't last? We've lasted longer that Charles and Diana.

Will you watch the royal wedding?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

WTF - My Dirty Little Secret

My son came up for breakfast saying,

"I couldn't sleep last night!"

Me, "Why? We added a fan in your room." (Sidenote, we've said the H word on Beech Mountain, breaking out the summer fans for sleeping. After our March I swore I wasn't going to say "hot" until July but Mother Nature is proving me wrong.)

"Just as I was falling asleep, I was almost there, something ran up my leg!"

Me, "Ugh! Was it a spider?"

"No bigger."

"Mouse?"

"I don't know, maybe a squirrel. I went and got Shawnee in case it came back."

Me, "It can't be a squirrel, probably a mouse."

"Why would a mouse be in my room?"

Really?

Do you want to see why?

If you are OCD please stop here.

Seriously, this is a big trigger warning.



This is why there's probably a mouse in his room.

We have a dirty little secret in the Melang house,

Boys rooms.

I have all those perfect Mom friends that clean everything including their children's rooms, but I'm done with that. I don't touch them anymore.

Except for quarterly when all my dishes are missing and I lose my shit, screaming at them while throwing everything out the window.

They still ask me where their shit is and I have the standard answer, "In your room. Whenever I find it, I throw it in your room."

Which they answer, "Ugh, I'll never find it."

I've even stopped saying, "If you'll clean your room you'll probably find it."

I didn't even say this morning, "If you'd clean your room then the mouse wouldn't think it cozy enough for a home."

Nope, I'm not perfect, not even close. But my living space upstairs stays clean and mouse free, while I close the doors on our dirty little secret and push all the skeletons back in the closet.

Wait, is that a mouse I just saw run across my living room floor?

What's your dirty little secret?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

WTF - Mother's Day

Celebrating Mother's Day the Melang Way:

The boys walked into my room saying, "Alexa open Mom Compliments."

Alexa started spouting off their recorded compliments:

Mom, thanks for Mother's Day.

Mom, thanks for cooking for us.

Mom, thanks for cleaning up the downstairs.

Mom, thanks for taking care of all of our friends.

Mom, thanks for not letting me die.

Then the texts come in, making me feel special.

Happy Mother's Day from all my "sons from another mother."

Breakfast reheating Shrimp and Grits they brought home from their job but ditching that for the Banana Pudding and Peach Cobbler. The boys know me well.

The best part? Big hugs when they got up this morning hearing "Happy Mother's Day."

You see? It's the simple things. 4 hours to myself then some fun with my boys.

Oh and Alexa forgot the last compliment which came out at a random time.

Mom, thanks for being awesome.

Here's to all awesome Moms, fur baby Moms, feather baby Moms, scale baby Moms! We are all awesome!

How will you enjoy your day?

Here's a few great says you can use with your mother in case you forgot today is Mother's Day.

Mom, thanks for creating such an awesome kid.

Mom, sorry my head was so big when I was born but thanks for being my mother.

Mom, thanks for turning off the blender so I can lick the beaters.

Best of all,

Mom, thanks for reminding me today is Mother's Day. Happy Mother's day!

Friday, May 11, 2018

WTF - It's the End of the School Year

You can always tell the school year is coming to a close when:

Lunches consists of cutting off the moldy pieces on sandwich bread, two stale cookies, and a Fruit Roll Up (because we should have fruit in every lunch)

Kids are picking up clothes from the floor and sniffing them rather than doing laundry.

There's no pass on tardy times, even when you are coming in hot as they are closing the door to the school.  Prompting you to walk children to the office in your PJs to sign them in.

Teachers are sending out multiple reminder emails for all the things you forgot all year. And you still promptly forget them again.

Kids are already moving to the summer schedule of sleeping, making mornings more difficult as you scream at them to get moving.

How do I know we are all done with the school year?

I pulled to the stop sign at 194 and Broadstone Road, and of course per school protocol, if there is a car line, you turn into the school parking lot, circle the lot, get in line waiting to drop your kids off.

Much to my surprise there wasn't a line, so I'm thinking, "Cool, I don't have to turn into the parking lot, I've got an extra minute of my day back to me!" I make a hard left pulling behind a car just as a few cars come out of the parking lot.

As we are waiting, this lady behind me rolls down her window yelling, "Hey Jackass, you're supposed to go through the parking lot!"

I look back thinking, "Is she talking to me? And if she is, is Jackass appropriate in the Elementary/Middle School carpool line?"

So what do I do? I forgive her because that's my yogi way of thinking, then I just ignore her as she pulls right up on my ass in the carpool line. I'm wondering what the protocol is regarding no carpool line? Did I have the right to just pull in? Was I really being a Jackass? And seriously, what does it have to do with her? Add another 30 seconds to her wait in the carpool line?

Luckily she didn't say anything else, because I really didn't want to throw it down in front of the elementary school children. "Let me show you what a Jackass I can be!"

I figure we are in the same situation. We are all done, done with the routine, done with the homework, done with the PTA requests, done with the missing assignments, done with the volunteer opportunities.

Seriously, this Jackass is done.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

WTF - And Then I Saw The Bear

Everyone remembers the words from the Jimmy Buffet song, but here in the High Country we actually live it!

Spring has finally made an appearance on the mountain and with that the local wildlife make their appearance, including those white shaved legs coming out of hiding from their winter slumber in long underwear!


Coming out of hibernation along with the animals are the local tourists of Beech Mountain, cars with "fruit plates" making their way slowly up and down the mountain. I've been know to utter a few choice words as I smell someone's brakes smoking.

Beech Mountain also has it's "rush minutes" times where all cars stop usually for a gaggle of turkeys, or geese and yes, the bears.

When the bears wake up from their slumber they are hungry, not just hungry but HANGRY and the first thing they go for is the trash cans. We've had one looking through our kitchen door wondering what that wonderful smell was, we didn't offer it a piece of pizza.

Most houses on Beech Mountain have wooden trash bins holding two trash cans sitting in front of the house. Tourists take their trash out leaving them in these wooden bins, not thinking of the local wildlife.

This is the dinner bell to animals, the buffet is now stocked and ready to go. Hangry bears move slowly down the street, hitting every available trash can, spreading the trash everywhere. This trash is then eaten by other local wildlife including most family pets. Honestly, my dog once pooped out a Slim Jim wrapper on a long walk. Thank God it didn't necessitate a visit to the vet.

This availability of trash brings local wildlife close to people getting them used to people being their food supply. This is not a good scenario when the sows have their babies and during your evening walk you've got a protective Momma with her brood rooting through the trash.  I've started my morning commute driving around trash bins in the middle of the road, trash strewn around them.

The town set out covering the wooden trash bins with wooden lids. This solved the problem with raccoons and crows but the bears were not deterred. The wooden lid was considered an inconvenience as the bears ripped the sides of the bins off, even pushing a few down a hill until they busted open for their midnight buffet. The lids, though a good idea, did not stop the flow of trash into our beautiful forests.



How did I solve my bear problem? Here's my advice. The town dump is on the way off the mountain. When not feeling lowlandaphobia and traveling off Beech Mountain, I do a quick stop at the dump for my trash, my recycling and a little bit of treasure hunting. (If you've read my book you'll know all about dumpster diving on Beech) This does not send the bears away, but it keeps the trash out of my yard, letting the bears follow the trash over to the dump. I also bring in my bird feeders at night as these also will attract raccoons and bears and other critters during the night.

If you are a visitor and want to keep Beech Mountain beautiful, consider taking your trash to the dump rather than leaving it in a wooden bin, lid or no lid. If you can't take your trash to the dump, then set it out the morning of your pickup, after the bears have gone to bed. Also remember, tourists see the bears as a tourist attraction, many taking pictures at their feeding sights (the town dump and other dumpsters on the mountain) these are wild animals who are not fond of the paparazzi, especially a Momma protecting her babies, use your zoom lens and be aware.

Finally, I don't let bear season stop my love of hiking on Beech Mountain. You'll normally not encounter a bear during the day hiking but remember making noise, letting everyone know you are coming helps animals move out of your path. Some recommend bear spray but my thought process is this, if you have to be ten feet away for the spray to work, I'm either going to miss or miss because I am running. There's an ongoing joke on the mountain, you can tell baby bears are around by all the berries in their poop, Momma bears by the cans of bear spray in her poop.

So enjoy our little slice of paradise properly, keep the trash contained and let the wild animals do what they are designed to do. That also includes those wild animals you meet at the Skybar during a beautiful Saturday concert!

How do you deal with bears?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WTF - Beech Mountain, You're Where?

Living on a mountaintop we have several sayings unique to the place we live, each with their own explanation and how to use them in context.

Today's lesson is about location, location, location......

I called a friend to pick something up.

"Hey, can I come by to pick up that nose hair trimmer you borrowed?" (this is fiction folks)

"Sorry," she says, "I'm already off the mountain."

People who don't live on a mountaintop translate this phrase to, "I've taken the horses, fed them, gathered what little belongings I have, packed them up, added a few provisions and made my way through the depths of hell off the mountain." They think Donner Family and everything that goes with it.

Visitors to our beautiful mountain community, understand this phrase to mean, "I've made the drive off the mountain, brakes smoking. I must let my poor little car rest for a few hours at the winery before I blow the engine taking my sweet old time up the mountain again." or, "I'm lost somewhere in the High Country, please help me."

But to me, I totally understand what she means, this is what I hear, "I'm off the mountain after not leaving the mountain for the past few days. I'm here provisioning up, planning on not leaving the mountain again for a few more days. So, I'm not coming back up until I have everything I need and don't have to go back down again."

When someone is "Off the mountain" that means they will not make that quick trip back up (Sure it's under 3 miles but UP) for any reason. Happy Hour is a maybe, but everything else is a definite no. The halfway point for me is the first S turn down, that's the line I draw. "I'm sorry you forgot your phone but we are already off the mountain."

Living up here I totally understand what she means, I reply, "Oh, don't come back up the mountain for me, I'll just get it later. Plus the nose hair is keeping me warm during this spring snow."

We mountain top dwellers take our "going off the mountain" seriously. Each time you head down to the lowlands, you're sacrificing brakes, your ears are popping and god forbid you have nose congestion. Reasons for leaving the mountain have to be serious. Plus we love it up here and don't want to leave!

I've always told my children, "If you're at a friend's house in the lowlands, only call me when I have to take you to the Emergency Room, I'm not bringing your computer to you." or, "Everyone swims in their underwear, yours looks like a bathing suit anyway. You'll be fine." (Translation, No, I'm not coming up the mountain to take you to get your bathing suit, I'm already OFF the mountain.)

Being in a beautiful place makes you not want to leave, why go "off the mountain" when you have wide open views, cooler air and of course friends who "hunker down" with you sharing that last bit of wine when nobody wants to go "off the mountain."

What does it take for you to come back UP the mountain when you are already OFF the mountain?