Overheard In May 2014

May was a weird month. I kept getting bad news. And it seemed those around me were receiving bad news. And the bad news compiled into a quicksand hole of stress that I could feel myself struggling through as I tried to meander through each day.

Well, two nights ago, we had incredibly good news (about my son’s health). If you are wondering why I am sharing this in my overheard post, it is to explain the scream of jubilation you must have heard from your house.

Sorry about that. It was from my husband.

It went like this:

“Wheeeeeeewwwwww! Waaaaoooooooeeeeeewwwwww!”

This was repeated and fist pumped and jumped through the house. I told him I had never ever seen him so happy. It made the month of May close on a sweet note.

With that said, I spent much of the month at home with my son or in the doctor’s office, so I did not hear much. But what I did overhear, I will share with you:


At The Cheesecake Factory we sat outside and to our left, was a beautiful German couple in their early twenties. They were hipster cool in an easy-not-on-purpose kind of way. They would have made the people actually trying for this look fall on their knees and rip at their hats.

They ordered a chocolate malt and a slice of cheesecake. For lunch. Or breakfast. It was eleven o’clock. Which again, was cool without trying to be cool.

I don’t think I have ever had a moment like that.

The waitress returned after a few minutes to inform them that the kitchen thought they might be out of malt. She told the couple that they might want to pick something else on the menu.

They both grinned at her and said, “This is okay. But we do not know this word, ‘malt.’ What is it? What does it mean?”

Well, the waitress was not expecting that answer. And she just kind of stood there trying to determine if she knew the answer. I don’t blame her. I am not sure what I would have said myself.

So she said, “It’s the stuff that makes a malt a malt.”

And they grinned wider.

And she hastily left, returning minutes later with cheesecake…and a chocolate malt!

“They found some malt in the kitchen,” she said.

She left the desserts on the table with obvious relief.

The couple only ate two bites of cheesecake and a few sips of the malt before they asked to take the food to go.

Then they cooly sauntered away. Both of their perfect hats faced towards a new adventure.


I volunteered at my son’s school two weeks ago (for the first time all year. It is hard as they get older. They get bigger. I get lazier). The fifth grade was doing a colonial day reenactment. They got to pick five items to make that they would have made back in the colonial days. I was helping at the book binding booth.

It was actually quite comical to hear the different conversations around me. Here is one:

A tall fifth grade boy sweetly grabbed one of the pillows his friend had made, and rubbed it on his cheek. He put his head on the pillow that was so small it barely fit into his hand, and proclaimed in the most innocent voice, “Oh. They feel so good. I should have made this.”


In the triage across from us (at the ER), there was a two year old who had ingested her grandparent’s prescription medicine. She screamed as they force-fed charcoal into her system. The mother sang Barney lyrics in an eerily high and enchanting voice, “I love you. You love me…” And then it randomly changed to, “Clean up. Clean up. Everybody do their share. Cle-”

The little girl left a few hours later: tired, confused, perfectly healthy. And the mother handled the whole thing with such gentle grace.

After they left, one nurse said to the other, “you have charcoal splattered all over your scrubs.”

The other nurse shrugged and said, “I don’t have another pair with me.”

To which the first nurse softly said, “Don’t worry. It really isn’t noticeable unless you are looking for it.”

And it was wrong. Oh, so wrong. But that mother’s last song began playing itself in my head.



In the hospital bed next to us at the emergency room, a fifteen year old boy had severed his big toe almost completely off. I did not ask how, but believe me, I was curious.

When he was being discharged (after they had performed the reattachment surgery), they gave him some interesting advice.

“Make sure you keep changing the diaper* on your toe. I know it is unusual, but the diapers will absorb the fluids that are draining.”

Who knew?

*I believe this is what I heard. But I could be wrong. I cannot find any information on diapers being used for wounds. So, maybe I was delirious with exhaustion or maybe it is a new thing. Please take it for what you will.


I was at Trader Joe’s purchasing peonies and a few other staples, when I went down an aisle, and saw a mother pick up a jar of Trader Joe’s Clarified Butter and say to her daughter:

“Let me just clarify something for you. This. Is. Butter.”

I laughed. And I bought the clarified butter. I had forgotten I had wanted to try it. Making it is a pain.

How was your month of May? Did you overhear anything good?

If you missed April’s “Overheard In”, you can find it here.

27 thoughts on “Overheard In May 2014

    • Thank you. I love writing them. My son is so much better. Thank you. It was a really stressful month but it looks like that is over (knock on wood).

      Have a lovely week! : )


  1. I’m sorry to hear that your son has been ill, and happy to hear that he’s been doing better. I hope that June brings lots of good things and peace to you!

    I have been eyeing that ghee for weeks at TJs, but haven’t bought it. How do you use it? Is it just for curries? (We make curries Malaysian style, with coconut milk, so I’ve never used ghee).

  2. Oh, I am SO glad to hear that your son is doing better! Hopefully Maui will make everyone better! Unfortunately, my boys have been find much humor in the “potty” talk of late. Or as Colin says, ” It’s Be-gusting!” It is definitely something we are working on. I blame kindergarten 😉

    • Thank you Alicia! We are all still doing the happy dance here. It was a long, long month. I finally feel like I can breathe!

      Ha! I don’t know that potty talk ever goes away. I have even been known to indulge in it. I love the word “begusting”! That is fantastic! : )

      Sweet dreams!


  3. Oh Jenni, Such good, good, goosebumps producing news! Can you see me fist bumping down Texas way? Love you, friend.

    • Thank you Brynne! I know how sweet you have been through all of this and I really, really appreciate it! It was such an ordeal. I even thought I was going to have to shut down the blog for awhile. Your happy messages kept me going.

      Thank you for that!

      Have a super week!


  4. TY for this interesting post -& especially am glad that ur son is A-ok 🙂 … I didn’t exactly overhear something – I ‘oversaw’ it — a non-computer friend has had a falling out w/ a close relative going back now at least several years; he had heard ‘thru the family grapevine’, that she had a Facebook page – ‘Jean, could u look that up for me?’ Of course I could! Now, he knows nothing at all about computers, so I literally had to sit next to him to do this and … ah! here she is! look, u two have that in common – that might facilitate conversation! ah! here’s her husband! and – oh my. This person’s two near-adult sons are the banner boys for some sort of disturbed death metal goth – there’s no way u can adjust that to find any redeeming qualities at all. Being serial killers, looks like that would fit there needs. I felt like I was peeking into someone’s dirty laundry ;-

    • Thank you Jeannee!

      Oh man. That oversaw sounds pretty harsh. What a miserable place for your friend to be in. And just really sad. I hope it all works out for him. Any kind of relationship problems are hard. Especially with family.

      I hope your week is better. Have a wonderful Monday!


  5. I am so glad you got good news about your son! It is so hard when the people we love hurt. I enjoyed your dog dance from yesterday too! Poor sweet little bully. I hope his head is okay. I hope you can take your vacation now and everyone has a good time. Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day.

    • Thank you. It is so hard. It broke my heart in two.

      Ollie is doing great. Thankfully he has the hardest head I could imagine. He was so funny tonight. I tried to give him love and he snotted in my face!

      Have a happy week!


  6. Oh what a relief! May sounds like a horrible awful month and I am so happy to hear that it ended on a good note. I can’t imagine your panic and pain. Those photos of the ceiling at the children’s ER were frightening.
    I love that story about the butter! And, your line about being at Trader Joe’s to purchase peonies and other staples. It has such a poetic ring to it. Because of course peonies are a staple! xo

    • Thank you Cynthia. Yes, May was a horrendous month. I am so glad that it is over!

      That woman was so surprised when I actually bought the butter. I told her it is great for cooking. And then she told her daughter, “this is a fancy store.” I guess she had not gone to Trader Joe’s before.

      I did not even realize that I wrote it that way! I guess that is true insight into my warped head. Because I do think peonies are a staple!

      Have a delightful Monday!


  7. Oh Jenni, so sorry to hear you’ve had such a traumatic month but so glad that your son had some good news and I hope it truly on the mend. I am waiting for some news too so I understand.

    I always look forward to what you over hear each month. 🙂

    • Thank you Stephen. We are overjoyed here. Oh. I hope everything is okay on your side. Waiting is the worst part. It is such a helpless feeling.

      Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement! I really do appreciate them. : )

      Have a wonderful week!


  8. Thank you Michelle. We are so relieved that everything looks so much better now. I hope it stays that way! : )

    I use clarified butter to sauté fish, steak, and chicken. It is great because it doesn’t burn as quickly as regular butter. I have not used it for curries, but that sounds great. I will have yo try that!

    Have a beautiful week!


  9. Oh my poor Jennikins, it sounds like you have had the mother of all horrible months!! I felt so bad for you reading about all the visits to the ER, but I am so happy that your husband had cause to run around hooting with joy.

    That thing about the diaper for the boy’s toe, could it simply be one of those very absorbent bandages? I had something like that on my leg back when I had my second-degree burn back in 2010, to soak up, you know, all the fluids seeping out and stop them from messing with the open wound and preventing it from healing properly.

    Also, that thing about the clarified butter cracked me up! That lady was too awesome for words! And so are you, stay strong, honey! 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you Gwen. It was a happy day. : )

      I could have sworn I overheard “diaper” but Imam sure they meant those bandages. How did you get burnt?? That sounds awful!

      The clarified butter lady was awesome! She would have been a hoot to hang out with!

      Have a marvelous Tuesday!


      • Dude, my burn is fine now – all gone! I don’t even have a scar. This is why Victor compares me to Wolverine. I did it pouring boiling water down my own leg, as you do when you’re a clunky idiot. 😉 The smell and sensation of my own flesh being cooked will stay with me forever – I am MUCH more careful around boiling water now! 😉 My friend Angela was there, and that was a lucky thing – she knows first aid so she knows what to do.

      • Okay. I have to know. Were you pouring hot water on ants at the time?

        That sounds awful. When my husband was twelve he had third degree burns on his chest and hand when him and his friend were playing with gasoline. The thought of that scares me to death. Are you scared of boiling water now?


    • Thanks Liana. I told my husband you were googling it, so then he had to google it. He read me the whole page. Now I know. ; ). I do not retain facts like that, though. He does. He should be on Jeopardy. He is so good at trivia. Anyway, I learned something new tonight! And that is always a good thing!

      Sweet dreams!


  10. I’m glad that your son is feeling better and it sounds like he was able to still attend his fifth grade Colonial project. I agree with you on the school volunteering thing. Now that my daughter is going to be in third grade, there may not be as much to do. This could be a good thing.
    May was a busy month with everything from the school play to many other school functions and kid parties. There was a little too much to do and I am now drained.
    Have a nice evening,

    • Thank you Stacey. We are so relieved to hopefully have that ordeal behind us. My kids are supposed to leave on a long camping trip with their grandparents as soon as we get back from Maui. I have to go to a follow up appointment just to make sure that is possible.

      Third grade was the last year I really volunteered in my son’s classroom. With my daughter, I did it all the way through fifth grade. But his fourth grade teacher preferred to not have volunteers, so I ended up getting very used to that idea. It was rather nice. : )

      I hope June is treating you better. We are now out of school. I hope you are, too.

      Have a great Sunday!


  11. My June hasn’t started out so well, I’m wayyyy behind commenting on blogs, for one thing, behind on my own blog, etc. So glad to hear about the good news about your son. Must have been a relief! And I always enjoy reading your “overheard” posts. I should start eavesdropping more often. 🙂

    • Oh no! I do not like to overhear that. How was your trip? I hope June has treated you better since you wrote this. Oh my gosh, my son doing better was the best thing ever. Hopefully he will get to go camping with his grandparents for a week coming up. I know he is looking forward to it.

      I am behind, too. I will feel so much better when I finally get caught up!

      Hoping the rest of June treats you amazing!


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