Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Year, New Rant

Presenting another in our series spotlighting various members of the South Jersey Writers' Group - today's guest blog is by Barbara Godshalk.

While it’s still only February, I thought I’d pass along a few thoughts on the new year. To quote my six year old daughter, “How many more days until spring, mommy?” I guess I got spoiled by last winter. We delicate flowers need our heat. It’s been absolutely rude out there. We haven’t even had a decent snow yet. You would think after all the carbohydrates from the holidays I’d be warm enough but no, as we say in these parts, it’s friggin’ freezing. I’ve been living in layers like a walking wool parfait. Isn’t that one 'advantage' of winter? I don’t have to see all those carbs, they’re buried under sweaters!

It’s taken years, but I’ve finally smartened up when it comes to mitigating the damage from all that shopping. Only buy what you have to for the people you’re going to see in the order you see them. For that special breed of masochists who shop on Black Friday, God bless you. I’d rather stick forks in my eyes. I’ve been able to scoop up a few bargains for friends’ kids at the post holiday clearance sales. I also shopped in my basement as much as possible. I’m a year round squirreler. If I find something for someone in July, I’ll grab it for later use.

This January has been every bit as annoying as last year. The difference is I’m feeling slightly better. I didn’t say optimistic, let’s not get crazy. I am however, busy at home and very lucky that I still have that ability. It does feel funny that I don’t have any official job lined up for tax season this year. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll be hanging out watching the “he-did-it-fry-the-bastard” channel while my girl is at school. My guilty pleasure isn’t reality TV per se, but those "Dateline" style crime shows (not something I’m proud of).

While I won’t be receiving a steady paycheck in the near future I have found money in my house (at least a few shekels). I’m getting ready for a huge clearance sale. My development has a yard sale every spring. The gory details can be found in a whole separate soap opera previously published (Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey). Yes, I haven’t given up on that. Why? We need the space.

Toys "R" Us explodes in our house every Christmas and every birthday. This goes beyond the idea of ‘it’s not the kid, it’s the crap they come with.’ This mushrooms into the network of our friends’ kids that we buy for and get gifts from. It’s like a warped Catholic Hanukkah (with a lot less meaning). The gifts go on for a lot longer than eight days. I’m trying to remember that we’re lucky to have a herd to thin. As every parent knows, old toys must disappear by stealth. We could own something my daughter hasn’t touched in over nine months. I will start to view this as a possible good candidate for sale. This toy will emit some sort of distress signal to our girl and she will suddenly find it fascinating! I never see the leftovers in our refrigerator do this.

There are also the ancient mommy clothes hiding in my dresser. I am referring to the fact that the last time I went grown up clothes shopping was for maternity clothes and maybe one other time in the last six years. If it’s older than my daughter, there’s a good chance it’s way older and should probably leave. Unlike the music I listened to in college, however, I wouldn’t call those old clothes 'classic.' No one’s possessions are safe, especially when I can’t answer the question "Why the hell are we keeping this?"

Once again, I could use to put those hearts up around the house and maybe a few turkeys would have been nice it they’d only remind me to be grateful. The problem is I need something that says, "be grateful," not "we Heart poultry." Hearts yes, but turkeys??? (I’m open to suggestions.)

If I could be said to be 'looking forward' to anything, it would be to seeing the floor in our basement. By then, the weather will be warmer, I hope. In the meantime, I’m planning to help myself survive the winter by planning a summer getaway - not for me. I’ll be looking for summer camps for our daughter!

Happy New Year, enjoy your ride in the slingshot.

About today's guest-blogger:

Barb Godshalk is a married mommy of a now six-year-old wealth of material and lives with her supportive husband in South Jersey. Her work had been featured on the In the Powder Room website as well as on Sirius XM's late lamented Lime Radio. Recently, you can find her in the South Jersey Writers' Group anthology
Tall Tales and Short Stories. The majority of works involve memoir and life lessons pieces with as much humor as readers can tolerate. You can check out Barb's blog Momsanity here. Enjoy.


  1. This was a great post. I love your stories, Barb. Keep them coming

  2. Hi Barb! I'm new to the SJWG, and I'm glad to get the blogs. I love your humor. Winter is a challenge for me, too. I'm going through the house sorting things to put in a spring yard sale or to donate now. It's a great winter activity. Purging! I think it shifts the energy in the house. Hang in there. The daylight hours are increasing. :)


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