Poopy Matters

I honestly do not keep track of what I write in this space; I’m much too lazy for that. But I am fairly certain that somewhere in the bowels of this space I have shared a pet peeve or two. Just in case however, since I’ve nothing better to do as I continue life in limbo in my new state, I’ll share again one of my pet peeves:

People too lazy to scoop the poop.

Yes indeed kind reader, I know. There are gazillions of issues more pressing in the world to get one’s knickers in a twist over but still, It’s particularly maddening (IMHO) to see piles of poop on sidewalks, in yards, and in common areas particularly when there are Pet Waste stations readily available; in fact, practically on every street corner in my area.

Here we are in our temporary apartment situation and I’m simply aghast by the amount of dog poop everywhere especially given that Pet Waste stations, such as the one pictured which is around the corner from our apartment, are EVERYWHERE in this large apartment and condo complex. Add to that is the astounding fact that these Pet Poop stations are also conveniently placed INSIDE the various dog parks in this complex. These dog parks are actually quite nice as they are covered with artificial turf, have pet playground equipment, access to water and, in some cases, a shaded area for pet owners to sit while their pups romp. And yet, Every. Single. Dog Park that the Poodle and I have visited since our arrival are littered with piles of poop despite easy access to these well-stocked Pet Waste stations. And no, the rationale that it is perhaps the job of the grounds crew does not fly! There is signage everywhere stating the obvious: CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PET!

Chalk it up, I suppose, to a universal truth: There are downright rude people in this world.

While we are on the subject of poop, I have learned to differentiate between mouse poop and lizard poop.

Clearly I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment.

So, here we are getting the scoop, as it were, on the home inspection for our new digs. Most everything came out clean as a whistle with the exception of a few minor issues with the roof. The home inspector had photographed one such issue where there was evidence of a rodent in the attic Naturally, I wanted this investigated and remediated and the sellers were absolutely on board to address the issues. Turns out the poop droppings in the attic were not due to mice or, God forbid, rats.

Report conclusion:The droppings are consistent with lizards and frogs; most likely lizards. Because lizard droppings are normal in Florida attics and not preventable, no remediation is suggested.”

Lizards…Frogs? In the attic? Oh my! Though it was over five years ago (In Alabama) my too-close encounter with a frog seems like only yesterday. I mean really, how does one get “lucky’ enough to have a frog fall on top of one’s head when opening a door to step out into the yard?

Of course, this got me to thinking: what does lizard poop look like?

As much as I loathe relying on Google, I just had to know. So, into the Google world I went and yes, I now know the difference between mouse poop and lizard poop. Inquiring minds, you need search no further: Lizards poop and pee out of the same orifice so their poop is characterized by a white tip which is crystalized uric acid.

Lizard Poop: Photo by Gary Nafis

Now I have lizards on the brain (as well as snake poop….Thanks Google!).

So, I happen to know that there is a lizard-in-resident at my new home-to-be. I spotted him perched on the current owners lounge chair while I was walking the small patio area. He did not seem skittish at all; in fact, he seemed rather curious, as if to communicate: Wait…what?! New humans will be invading my space?

So, I’m going to give him a name; I think Sir Geoffrey fits. This is a wink and a nod to my nephew who has a silly history with the name. I am sure to be one nervous ninny with Sir Geoffrey around as I learned too, that lizard poop is dangerous; it can contain salmonella.

Salmonella…no bliss in that to be sure. Ah, but the adventure continues and that means, if nothing else, on some level…more neuroplasticity is taking place for moi.

Pet Peeve Kind of Week

Pet Peeves. We all have them, n’est-ce pas? This past week seems to have been full of ’em in my humble world. I wondered about this today on my early morning walk.  It was a short but brisk walk, a rush to get in some outdoor physical activity before winter wreaked potential havoc once again.  Just two days ago it was a lovely 70 degrees in Northern Virginia and now, as I type away, snow is falling…and sticking.    This winter-y mix of sleet and snow has put the kibosh on afternoon plans to attend a yoga class for the first time in many moons.  Instead I vegged in true couch-potato fashion with a bowl of popcorn, The Poodle in my lap, catching up on Netflix episodes of The Crown.   Lord forgive me… it was better than time on the mat!

Later in the afternoon, as I ruminated on this and that, something I often do when I am not plugged-in, I thought about my pet peeve du jour: people talking over other people.  It seems like every time I listen to CNN or Fox news, guest and pundits talk over each other, escalating “dialogue” into such a fevered pitch, to the point where it is impossible to get anything at all from the topic at hand.   I’m particularly sensitive to this pet peeve as my son (yes, he-who-still-lives-in-the-basement) is particularly adept at talking over others, which naturally makes me…well…do the very same thing in an effort to be heard.

I knowGuilty!  But hey, I am  trying to get this guy launched back out into the world (and out of my basement) and…I AM THE MOTHER!  But yes, I am working on zipping my lips shut whilst he drones on and on….

But I digress.

This whole pet peeve thing got me thinking during a blissfully quiet moment as I watched, from my study window, the first flakes of feathery soft snow touch the ground, that perhaps I should start a list of my own pet peeves, ranking them in order of annoyance.

Harrumph.  A moment of clarity comes, and in one blink it is gone.  Thankfully a trace of I know is left.

What a waste of valuable time and energy it would be to start this pet peeve list.   There are a million other things to lose sleep over, unfortunately.  And, I’m trying–admittedly, not without a degree of difficulty–to be less negative…less judgemental.

Still, I waste two minutes and conducted a Google search on the subject of pet peeves.

Aha!  Search and ye shall find.  Case in point: Here is one list of pet peeves on Ranker, https://www.ranker.com/list/everyone_s-biggest-pet-peeves/analise.dubner.

Low and behold, Talking Over Other People is on that list as well as a number of others that annoyed me this past week.

On occasion, I so love a dose of validation!

Major pet peeve! Notice the cart pen is in plain view.

Not on that particular list: people leaving their grocery cart in a parking space because they are (IMHO) too lazy to take the extra steps to return it to a cart pen or back to the store.   It amazes and annoys me every time I watch someone unload groceries into their car and then leave the cart practically on the spot instead of taking the time to walk a few steps to place the cart in the cart pen.

Or how about parking a car across two spaces (that made the list).  This was my pet peeve on Wednesday when I tried to find a decent parking place at the gym.  Not one, but two different cars were parked in this manner, which naturally made the task of finding a parking spot more difficult.  Really folks?


And then (also this week…and ON THE LIST) loud cell phone conversations in public.  My attempt at a relaxing indulgence at Starbucks with a latte and a good book to read was ruined by a young man at the next table.  He was on his smart phone–wireless buds adorning his ears–carrying on a lengthy and loud conversation. Suffice it to say, that I hope the object of his diatribe (Juanita) is smart enough to high-tail it out his life.  His behavior and his words were less than honorable.

Last but not least, for this week anyway, is aimed at poor gym etiquette.  The woman on the weight bench beside me this morning broke a list of gym rules starting with not covering her mouth as she sneezed (repeatedly) and not wiping down the equipment after use.  Nor did she return any of her weights to the proper racks. 

In quiet frustration I re-racked what I could of the mess she left on the gym floor.


…..and forgive them Lord; they (apparently) know not what they do.

Let us breathe through what drives us crazy, together, shall we.  Feel free to share your pet peeves in this here truly, no-judgement zone.





I’ve got a pet peeve. Okay…more than one. In fact, probably too many to count, which means some of them surely don’t hold enough importance to merit words on a page.  I am only human.  I am working on releasing silly little things…but still, I do get peeved.  Perhaps I should start a numbered list to work out my peevishness issues?  Hmm.  That’s a thought.

For example: Pet Peeve #1: It ruffles my feathers when folks leave grocery carts in parking spaces because they are too lazy to walk a few extra steps to return a cart to its designated cart return area. I’ve had dings in my car because of an errant cart rolling into my car. That wouldn’t have happened if said cart was in its proper place. Surprisingly, I’ll confess that this is not a big problem here in middle-earth-land. At my local grocery store I see more people actually returning carts than anywhere else I have lived, except in Germany and Italy that is. There you have to pay for a token to get a grocery cart and if you don’t return the cart to its rack you don’t get your money back. Anyhow, this proper cart etiquette was a cause for pause for me; It’s no secret that I’m not always positive about my Alabama living experience. But for all that I complain about living in the south there are good things too, very nice people being at the top of the…er….well…admittedly, short list.

So yesterday as I walked very early in the morning with The Poodle in order to beat the oppressive heat that has gripped middle-earth-land for the better part of two weeks I was unfortunately reminded of another pet peeve (let’s call it Pet Peeve #2). A particularly gross one: Condoms on the sidewalk. And not the ones that are UN-used, still in their little sealed wrappers.

I know. Ewww. Thoroughly disgusting. Yet, there is not a week that goes by that I don’t pass a used discarded condom on the side of the road, in a ditch, or on the sidewalk, in a parking lot, even in a pretty little flower bed. Seriously. We’re talking neighborhoods  folks…not out in the boonies near some locally designated “lovers lane” (although, I could argue that it sure feels like living in the boonies compared to my Southern California days). And, it certainly doesn’t add any bliss to my quiet morning walk having to yank The Poodle’s leash issuing a stern “leave it” command as his snout strains to dive into rubber rubbish.

Rubber rubbish

Rubber rubbish

Sexual intercourse…the coming together of two people in love (or, as the case often may be…in juvenile lust) can be a beautiful, wonderful thing for sure, but for heaven’s sake people, while it is terrific that you’re using protection could you not keep the evidence of it off the sidewalks and out of the flower beds?!  Could you not find a place for your coupling other than the cul-de-sac at the end of my street or the church parking lot down the hill just off of a busy street? In other words…how about this concept….pleaseGET A ROOM!  And, while you’re at it, how about disposing your used rubbers containing your bodily fluids in a trash receptacle instead of littering streets, sidewalks and pretty flower beds!


Now, with that off my chest…on to the business of clearing debris—-that would be large fallen branches and twigs (and thankfully not condoms) from last nights freakish storm— from my flower beds.