my mom says it’s OK

Bob and I were shopping yesterday when I happened to spy a young boy in the self-serve bakery.  I had seen him before on another shopping trip blithely munching on a cookie.  I stood and watched him as he eyed the cabinet, looked both ways, and then reached in and took a doughnut, closed the door with one hand, then brought the stolen treasure up to his lips and took a bite.

He clearly saw me looking at him and didn’t seem in the least fazed.  I approached him, I couldn’t help myself, and said, “You know that taking that doughnut is stealing.”

To which he replied:

“It’s OK, the store lets you do it, and my mom says it’s OK.”

I was flabbergasted!  I told him that it is not OK to take things without paying for them.  He went on to say that he would tell his mother and she would pay for it.

Later as I passed the checkout lanes I spied the doughnut kid and his mother.  Again I couldn’t help myself… I went up to the boy and said, “Hey, did you tell your mother about that doughnut you ate?”  Amazingly, his mother said, “Is that the woman you told me about?”  and then to me, “I always let him get something and then I pay for it when we leave.”

“I see.”  I said, and turned to walk away.  Here is where I think it got really weird…

Suddenly this big hulk of a man came up to me and asked if I knew that boy and I told him no.  Then he says in a booming voice, “That’s not cool lady!  That’s not cool, she could have gone off on you!”


You know how it is with snappy come backs.  You never think of them until you are long gone.  Two things came to mind later.  The safe answer would have been “Yes.”  And the smart-ass retort would have been, “Then we are both glad that he was not your son.”  I concede that the latter would have been, very “uncool”.

The whole situation left me thinking, when is it cool to steal even just a doughnut or a cookie?  What kind of message are you sending when you allow your child to take what they did not pay for?  Aren’t you setting him up to believe that the little items don’t count, and that it is OK to steal?

The thing is, they do count and in a big way!  In 2014 alone *25 large retailer’s losses were approximately $44.2 billion (based on a University of Florida survey).  That’s BILLIONS not hundreds, or thousands, or even millions, but billions.

Some may think,

“Well what’s it to me? They are big corporations who factor in shrinkage (see below) and they can afford the losses”

But they can’t, and in the end guess who pays for those losses?  We do.  We pay for every doughnut, pair of jeans, small appliance and more in higher prices when we shop.

So when we choose to turn our backs to even the petty theft ,and not say anything just because it is a kid, then we are agreeing to allow the child to continue to steal and to paying more for our goods in the future.

Now that, my friends, is uncool.

Oh yes, and as it happens we ended up in the line the boy and his mother were in and Bob realizing who she was asked if I wanted to choose another line.  I said, No.  The mother looked up and the end of the checking process, saw me, and then said,

“Oh, and did you get that doughnut for my son?”

The checker said “No mam.” and added it to her total.

English: A plain glazed donut. This was bought...


SHRINKAGE:  The loss of inventory that can be attributed to factors including employee theft, shoplifting, administrative error, vendor fraud, damage in transit or in store and cashier errors that benefit the customer. Shrinkage is the difference between recorded and actual inventory. Definition quoted from Investopedia 


Today on Hwy 72

I saw this today on Hwy 72 just outside of Decatur.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARegular at under $3.00 a gallon!

And it made me wonder:

What is everyone else paying for a gallon of gas these days?

BTW, this price drop just happened as of yesterday, and yes, I did stop and fill up the tank! 😉

Farmlet News: the end of it

PLEASE NOTE: Today’s post is taking place at the Hazel Green Farmlet location, and not on the Mountain Farmlet! 😉

The old place died today.  No one was sad about it.  It was an evil, killing place.  Over the years it had been the ruin of four happy marriages, and had drained the bank accounts of at least five people in the five years since we moved here.  Most were people thinking to patch the place up and “flip-it.” Sadly, one of the unsuspecting buyers was a young family who had put down “earnest money” on the place to secure their purchase.  They wanted to make it a home for their family.  Thankfully, they found out the truth of the property in time.  They may have lost their $500. deposit, but their health, marriage, and their bank account are intact.

Unbelievably, the frame had been built onto ground with a very high water table.  The soil would not allow for a good draining septic system, and for all appearances… the frame was built onto the soil! This allowed for moisture to wick up into its framing,  and then the termites came.  One of the owners over the years removed the wood flooring and tried to pour in a foundation.  The foundation not being attached to the house, well, it was ‘floating’ and when the rainy season hit each year the water came up and then under the tiling and carpeting.  One buyer even tried to dig a pond… a scary deep pit, onto the back of the property.  It was his hope that the water would drain into the huge void and keep his home dry.  I am afraid he did not understand about water tables.  It of course did not work.  When the rain came the pit filled with water and became a lake, the water table still rose to level beneath his home.  He was no better off for his spent time and energy, and perhaps worse off, because now he had a murky mosquito infested swamp back there.

In the last two years the place had become an attractive nuisance.    Late in the night it was being inhabited by

“…young ruffians who came there to smoke and drink.” 

This, of course,  led the younger children into believing that the place was haunted!  Thankfully, the neighborhood is close-knit, and kept a watch for trouble.  The sheriff was called out a few times and this quickly put an end to the trouble with trespassers.

Abandoned, ugly, rotten to its core,  it was a dangerous eyesore on our little street, and now it is coming down.  The backhoe made the first cut.  Timbers cracked and nails shrieked as the bucket tore at its frame,  but the evil place wasn’t done yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the backhoe worked on breaking its bones the house spewed clouds of plaster dust into the air.   

Laden with mold spores the stench was horrible. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHaving completed my early morning chores I beat a hasty retreat into the house!


As I write, its remains are being bulldozed by county workers into the now dried out pond mosquito swamp.  The whole space will be filled in, properly graded for good drainage, and grass planted over it.  When the new owners are done it will be a park-like setting for their family BBQ’s, and in summer  a place for neighborhood gatherings.

I have no idea how much the last unsuspecting buyer paid for the place, but I know he sold it at a great sacrifice to his wallet, to someone local who knew its history and wanted it gone. 

Our neighbors,

and we,

are grateful for his interest in making that happen!

Off Topic: a plan for the future to have a future

As a retired educator I often run across items that give me hope for the children in our school system.  This video raises some very important questions about the influences in children’s learning capability.

Surprisingly, it is not only the child, or the teacher who are responsible for their success.

It is the parent…

With that in mind I share with you a video that was introduced to me on Angela Grant’s blog site, she calls: Failure to Listen.  The video is entitled:

Plan for the Future to have a Future | A Theory of Change (video from Harvard)

After watching , you may agree or disagree with the theory and the recommendations posited.  However, I urge everyone to watch, to think, and to consider, that the children in our current system are our future.  Children learn what they see at home, they emulate their parents, for good or ill, and the lifestyle modeled is often self-perpetuating.

My questions to you are:

  • Can we break the cycle?
  • Is it society’s job to step up and step in?
  • Do you believe that interventions of this type will even work?
  • If not, do you have a different idea about what to do?

Speak up, speak out, and share your thoughts.