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The Perfect Starbucks

content discovered on Monday, January 1, 2018 in

It's 2018, and people around the world are making resolutions, pledging to do better, be better, in this new year. There are a lot of things I could put on that list, but they would all pale in comparison to what I achieved on December 29, 2017. On that date in history, I found the perfect Starbucks.I wasn't looking for it - but good things often happen when you least expect them. It wasn't even my goal to achieve. My daughter has been on this quest all year, driving from east Cobb to east Atlanta to fin...

Poop in the Pool

content discovered on Friday, July 21, 2017 in

The following post was a story I told at a "Listen To Your Mother" event earlier this year. So, just imagine it with hand gestures. ;)When my son was 4, I enrolled him in swimming lessons at the same time as his older sister. It was a small class, taught by an energetic, one-legged young man whose personality filled the room. He would get distracted talking with the other parents while the kids swam, so it was bound to happen that one day, my son took one too many laps, and just got plumb tuckered out. W...

We Came Home

content discovered on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in

It was the morning of our 20th anniversary trip, 6 months late. We had been trying to find a free-ish weekend, and my mother-in-law happened to be coming to town, so it was perfect.I stumbled outside with the puppy to make sure he made his one outside poop of the day. He refused, and raced back into the house. I ran after him, lost my footing on the deck stairs, and ripped a few holes in my right leg. The pain was excruciating, and panic flashed through my mind - what about the trip? But, after I wrapped...

Pink Toes

content discovered on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in

The boys are away at a basketball tournament this weekend, so my daughter and I decided to get our nails done. She said she "knew a place," and after a bit of a wander (typical Carolyn, saving that for another blog post), we found it. We walked into the biggest nail salon I have ever seen, but were greeted within minutes and sent to our respective stations. I was matched with a lovely man for a pedicure, but no sooner had I sat down than I realized the lady sitting next to me was engaged in a loud conver...

Listen to This

content discovered on Sunday, March 26, 2017 in

I hear a car pull up the driveway, and soon the kitchen door slams. A familiar voice calls out to me.Daughter: Mom, listen to this.Me: (deep breath as I swivel around in my chair) Tell me.There are three things I know when it comes to my daughter:1. Never take my bra off - she hosts guests without prior warning. 2. Always have cash - there is usually an immediate, dire need.3. When she says "listen to this", be ready for anything. Sometimes, what she asks me to listen to is how she got a good grade on a ...

The Year of the Rooster

content discovered on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 in

The other day I was looking up rooster graphics - because you can't have enough - when all of a sudden I discovered that 2017 is The Year of the Rooster. Clearly, the universe is speaking to me with a rousing cock-a-doodle-doo. If you have noticed my blog background, or visited my kitchen, or even browsed my Pinterest Board dedicated to this magnificent bird, you will know that the rooster is no small fowl in my eyes.Subsequently, I found out that I was born in The Year of the Rat. But, never mind that -...

Spilling the Tea

content discovered on Sunday, July 3, 2016 in

I write for two blogs. One is for the Atlanta City Moms Blog, to which I am very committed and for which I keep all my deadlines. I also have this blog, to which I am completely irresponsible and only write when I have an unexpected event or an a-ha moment.This post is neither. I am writing this one because I need to be free of a burden, and I am drumming up the courage to spill my tea.The day before my 41st birthday, (I am almost 44 now), I was in my local Kroger. I had lost a ton of weight, and had put...

Time Out

content discovered on Sunday, June 5, 2016 in

Waiting for the 11th grade basketball game to finish so I can cheer on my son's 7th grade team. Sitting next to a mom I don't know.Mom I Don't Know: Do you know who's winning?Me: I am sorry, I don't. I just walked in. Who are you cheering for?Mom I Don't Know: The home team.Me: Oh, me too! My son plays in the same league for the 7th grade team.Lively banter follows about where the boys go to high school and the newest guilty pleasure by Julian Fellowes.Whistle blows. A Mom on Other Team Starts Screaming....

For Brian

content discovered on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in

When you are an awkward teenage girl with no prospects and you go to the beach and meet a really great guy who doesn't know you are supposed to be awkward, your whole world can change. I was that girl, and Brian Fleenor was that guy. We met at St. George Island one night and sat together by a bonfire, confessing to each other our demons and dreams, as if we had been friends forever. After that starry, remarkable night, we parted ways - ostensibly forever, as these things go. Then weeks later, I received ...

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

content discovered on Friday, October 16, 2015 in

Someone posted a video on Facebook recently of the most horrid looking thing I have ever seen. It appeared to be a burned jerkin pickle with painted on eye balls, and it had a bright orange forked tongue that resembled the horns of Satan. The comments on this apparition ranged from disgust to fear, including one man who asked, “Are the lambs still screaming, Clarice?” But then the voice of reason shone through, and a level-headed nature lover declared that this was an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpill...

The Subtle Giraffe

content discovered on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in

Today is my 43rd birthday. Birthdays are often catastrophic for me --- on a Biblical level. Truly, honestly, cursed. Those who know my story can confirm that this is not an exaggeration. I usually approach August 31 with a great deal of dread, and with the assumption that it will be the worst day of my life. That I will once again be the lame gazelle that can't escape the merciless clutches of the deadly cheetah.But today, it wasn't like that at all. Today I was like the subtle giraffe.A dear friend call...

Thy Kingdom Come ...

content discovered on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in

My daughter and I were chatting after lunch at a Panera in Virginia, finishing some food before a lacrosse game, when she laid down some wisdom. As usual, it came most unexpectedly. After I made a particular comment, she replied, "Well, thy kingdom come, thy kingdom go."Me: What do you mean?Her: Isn't that how it goes?Me: No. Let's review the Lord's Prayer again. But can I use that sometime?Her: Sure.I didn't have to keep it in my pocket for long.Three days later, we were back in Virginia for another lax...

WildLife

content discovered on Thursday, July 2, 2015 in

Please look at this photo. It is a picture of a raccoon riding on the back of an alligator. On its two hind legs.You may have seen this photo on the internet already and know the back story. But if you haven't (and even if you have) there is clearly more here than meets the eye.At first glance, we have a bad ass raccoon that ain't scared of no gator. He simply needed a ride downtown and this looked like a highly efficient option. He's got confidence, vision, and a clear path ahead.However, the truth of t...

Get Lost

content discovered on Friday, May 29, 2015 in

My 15-year-old daughter and I were sitting in the Chick-fil-A drive thru the other day, watching some women with their small kids in the playground area chatting about organic hand wipes or applesauce brands or something in that vein. I looked at the scene with feelings of nostalgia, remembering my early days as a mother, looking for other mom friends and taking those field trips to the fast food restaurant or the park. My daughter looked at that scene and declared, "I really hope I don't lose myself whe...

Let's Make A Deal

content discovered on Friday, April 17, 2015 in

Remember the old game show, Let's Make A Deal? The host, Monty Hall, would challenge contestants in a high-pressure game of chance. You had to wear a crazy costume and hope that whatever door, pocket, curtain, or box that you picked would contain the ultimate prize. Here's a clip for you young people:This show became very relevant to me over Spring Break. This year, we negotiated our plans with our teenage daughter, who wanted to hang with her friends rather than her family. So, we were faced with two ch...

Gone to the Dogs

content discovered on Friday, March 20, 2015 in

We are in our first year of high school lacrosse, and so some of the other JV moms and I have put together a carpool. The other night I had driving duty, which entailed picking the girls up from practice, taking them to the team pasta dinner, and then bringing them home. The meal was at a varsity player's house, and several varsity moms were providing the food. It's a fun, team-building event. Anyway, as I drove from practice to the dinner, traffic was bumper to bumper. I asked my daughter how long the d...

And I Quote

content discovered on Friday, March 13, 2015 in

In our house, we play a lot of sports. There is always a practice or a game - I just sit in my car and wait for a someone I know to get in. And not only is it hectic, but it is demanding. Both of my kids are now at a level of play where they are experiencing true competition, where coaches are no longer required to be fair, but to win. There is a constant pressure to earn your spot on your team over and over, and over, again.In my day, sports didn't really gear up until high school - I don't remember loc...

Signage

content discovered on Thursday, March 5, 2015 in

My Sunday began with a man on a unicycle and ended with a man in a kilt. I know these are signs from the universe, I just don't know what my next move is. My husband and I had decided it was time to replace my 14-year-old car. Not only was it falling apart and smelled, but you just can't get into the good carpools with a two-row car. And I need good carpools. I literally have kids at sports practices and games literally every single night of my life. I use the term "literally" because it is burned on m...

Momopause

content discovered on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 in

The other day I was on Instagram, watching a Ball is Life video. This particular feature was of a young man in high school who is obviously a basketball phenom. He ducked and dodged and twirled the ball around like it was a yo-yo --- he made basketball look like Swan Lake. And then there was the boy defending him, in proper position and with ample speed, but clearly embarking on a suicide mission. It wasn't 10 seconds before the defender was flat on the ground, tripped up by the guile and trickery of our...

Life According to Fenton

content discovered on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 in

This is literally the best thing I have ever seen.I have watched this video over and over and over again. And I laugh with tears rolling down my face every time. It's funny and it's real and it's actually a perfect explanation of the meaning of life.I can so relate to Fenton's Human (FH). Here they are, having a lovely stroll in the park --- like they do every day --- amongst the wild deer in the sunshine. FH is probably thinking about his to-do list, resolving to finish a basement project and get caught...

NoLo

content discovered on Friday, June 13, 2014 in

Hey, i am in traffic court. Carolyn home if the boys need anything. Did ur cop show? I think he is here. Is that bad? not sure. What? What do you mean? Is there going to be testimony? I'm not prepped for trial! Why would this woman tattoo"Boobie" on her back? All Rise. Court is now in session. The Honorable Judge Something Schow Schow presiding. These people all look guilty of serious crimes. And I hope that woman is just asleep. Good afternoon. Before we begin, I would like to explain your op...

On The Fly

content discovered on Sunday, May 4, 2014 in

There was a span of weeks where I was twice met with the discomfort of interacting with a man whose pants were completely unzipped. I knew both times that I could not, would not, alert him to this crisis. The only male in this situation that I would ever bail out is my husband. Because it feels really dirty pointing it out, as if to say, "I was just looking at your crotch and am about to become a sister wife if you don't make a quick adjustment."What interested me even more is that none of the other men ...

Getting in the Weeds

content discovered on Saturday, April 12, 2014 in

Is it weird to wear an outfit to a store that you bought at said store? When someone pulls out in front of you, are they morally obligated to travel at the same rate of speed as you? Why do people from England sound American when they sing but British when they speak? On a scale of 1-10, how rude is it to put your groceries on the conveyor belt and not put a plastic divider down for the next person? Do any of these things bother you, too? Or am I getting in the weeds so I can avoid some larger questions ...

Expect the Unexpected

content discovered on Monday, March 10, 2014 in

Opening the doors to the coffee cup cabinet, I say to my husband: "Where are all the travel mugs? I know you have them stockpiled at your office."Husband:"I swear I don't have them. They should all be here. ..... Well, except for the one I had to pee in."___________________________Listening to my daughter literally banging on the piano keys, I say to her: "You are going to send me into a seizure. Why don't you play something soothing instead?"Daughter: "Sure Mom. ..... I call this one 'Nightmare.'"______...

I Love You More Than This Hurts

content discovered on Sunday, February 23, 2014 in

Just let that soak that in for a minute. Do you ever hear a song on the radio, or stumble on a particular line in a book, or a TV character waxes eloquent, and it just sticks with you? I love finding inspiration in unexpected places. I got this jewel from a good friend recently when we were on vacation together. She was sharing a current struggle with one of her children, and her frustration that there was no easy fix. But, as she was describing her sadness, she looked at me and said she knew they would ...

I Will Always Have Gum

content discovered on Sunday, February 16, 2014 in

I just became an aunt for the 6th time. My sister and her husband welcomed a daughter a few weeks ago. Looking at her, I think about my own children, who are much closer to leaving home than coming home for the first time. I see my sister in the position I was in almost 14 years ago. My job at that time to was to keep the baby fed and clean, warm and safe. That was a tall order, when you throw in the navigation of new family dynamics, grabbing sleep where I could, showering only once a week, eating donat...

Perfectly Wrong

content discovered on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 in

I was watching "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" with my teenage daughter the other night, when we came to a scene where a boy is offered a brownie at a party, not realizing it was "special." He ate it and became as high as a kite. I decided to use this as a teaching moment in the war on the drugs in suburbia.Me: "Carolyn, you should never eat brownies at a party."Her: "Why?"Me: "Because they could have drugs in them. Marijuana is very bad for you - it affects your reproductive organs."Her: "Is that why ...

7% Uncertain

content discovered on Sunday, October 13, 2013 in

For my 41st birthday, I received a DNA kit. Not because I am about to join Maury Povich onstage for the latest edition of "Who's Your Daddy", but because I truly wanted a final answer for the question, "Where did you get that nose?" My quest to determine my ethnic heritage had, up until this point, been an internal journey. Since adolescence, whenever someone would ask me where I was REALLY from, I would tell myself, surely, not from here. The details are sketchy. My father's father had a mysterious l...

It's Not Hard, People

content discovered on Saturday, August 3, 2013 in

Take a look at this photo. Can you spot the error? So close ... just a few more steps .... If I werea sociologist, I'd solve the mystery of why carts are abandoned in parking lots, when the corral is 10feet away.Or the greaterpuzzle of why we walk past said carts, go into the store, and get a fresh one. Why do we step over a piece of clothing that has fallen off the rack at a store? Further, why do we speed up to keep a car from pullingin front of us when lanes merge? Are we overly righteous or unde...

Gone Fishin'

content discovered on Monday, July 15, 2013 in

After having already decided not to take a family vacation this summer, due to lack of time and funds, I changed my tune. The tornado, plus a week with four children in my care - my niece (7) and nephew (1) came to stay - I decided a get-away was, in fact, possible. Of course, it was 4th of July week, so there was nothing available within a 500-mile radius. It took a few days of pulling my hair out to finally find just the spot - aprivate home in a gated community at a beach that I had never heard of.We ...

Is That the Best You've Got?!

content discovered on Thursday, April 12, 2012 in

Spring Break - Part TwoThe Truman Show saved Spring Break for us.Truly. We watched a VHS copy of it on our first night on the island.We were all slumped over in the floral wicker furniture, squinting at the 10" screen, when the climax of the movie came on. Jim Carrey (Truman) had finally overcome his fear of thesea and was sailing off into the sunset, when The Creator (Ed Harris) hit him with a massive tsunami. "Is that that best you've got?!!" Truman screams, and then goes on to survive the storm, climb...


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