The One Where I Tell You a Secret

I have the weirdest dreams. When I was a kid, I used to dream that I could fly. I still remember that *whee* feeling in the pit of my stomach this one time when I dreamed I was flying on my magic carpet. Okay, so it wasn’t a magic carpet. It was a suitcase. I told you my dreams were weird.

The other night, I dreamed I was a zookeeper. Like, instead of volunteering in the reptile department once a week, they actually paid me to show up. And I had animals of my own that I was assigned to take care of. I didn’t get to fly, but I did get to touch cool things. It was the happiest dream I think I’ve ever had. Then I dreamed that I bought a box of salted caramel MoonPies. When I woke up, I had the biggest smile on my face. Don’t you love dreams like that?

Here’s where things get really weird. I opened my secret hiding place in the closet cabinet, and look what I found!

 

Oh, my gosh! Salted Caramel MoonPies are a THING!

Oh, my gosh! Salted Caramel MoonPies are a THING!

 

But wait. If the MoonPies were real… Does that mean…? Yes, it does! As of this week, I have a new full-time job! I am the newest keeper in the Herpetology department. This is my dream job. I have thoughts and plans for studies on reptile cognition, and I want to do some operant conditioning with our giant tortoises. I am so excited I could cry. And I may have once or twice already.

Can you imagine having a job where you get to continue learning and learning and learning about things you love? Because that’s what this job will be for me. I’ll eventually be in charge of some species of snakes that I have limited or no experience with, so I will be reading and scouring the internet for information to learn as much as I can. About biology and the natural world. What could be better?

My first day is Saturday, and I’ll let you know all about it. My new life is about to begin. First full-time job since Squish was born. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time. Wish me luck!

 

***

In case you didn’t know, I contribute writing in other places. This week, I entered my drug screen post in a competition over at Yeah, Write. If you enjoyed it, click here to go vote for me. You can vote for your five favorite blog posts that you see there.

 I also added a post over at our local City Moms Blog. It’s a silly little poem about how parenthood changes us.  Because it does. Want a free sample, no extra charge? Okay, then!

Motherhood is pretty great.

I know that statement’s true,

But I’d be lying if I said

Kids haven’t changed my view.

.

At restaurants fine, I used to dine

On lobster or capon.

Today, I only choose the place

That offers free crayons…

Click here to read the whole post, and feel free to leave a comment to let me know you were there. I like it when my friends visit me.

 

So Maybe I Failed Another Drug Screen

I’m good at lots of stuff. I take decent photographs. I can cook a decent meal, sometimes I write. There are things I’m good at, see. And then there’s the stuff I’m not so good at. Like passing drug screens, for example.

I blew it once before. It was by accident, of course. Wait. That was a bad choice of words. Allow me to clarify. I didn’t have an accident or anything. I failed the screen because, having been brought up right, I flushed the toilet. And then was close to failing a second time because the sample was a little, er, on the low side.

A few days ago, I had the chance to redeem myself. As part of the pre-employment process of a job I am up for, I had to go and do another drug screen. I promised myself this time would be different. There would be no flush. No flush. Not from me. And there would be no question of volume. I would turn that volume UP!   I knew I could do it! I would pass this screen the first go-round. Sometimes you just need to believe in yourself, you know?

So I went. To the clinic, I mean. Well,  I went, too. Because that’s part of the process. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I showed up at the clinic and registered after drinking enough water and coffee to provide a large enough sample for an elephant. The lobby reeked of cigarette smoke. I looked around to see if they were screening Noah. They weren’t. The closest they had to a Flood of Biblical proportions was a large fish tank with a constantly trickling filter. In the lobby of a place where people go because they’re supposed to pee. Rather dangerous placement if you ask me.

When they called my name, I knew my moment had come. I followed the nice lady back to the Cubicles of Disappointment and got signed in. She gave me the instructions, but she needn’t have bothered. They are burned into my heart. “Pee in the cup, don’t flush.” Like I could ever forget them.

I did what I had to do, and I did it well. After all that water, my cup overfl- oh, nevermind..You get the idea. I walked away from my nemesis feeling a little grossed out without flushing. I had done it! I think I heard an angel sing.

The thrill of success doesn’t last forever – just long enough to remember the poppy-seed bread I had eaten a couple of days before. Poppy seeds. You know the ones. Little black seeds that show up in a drug screen as heroin.  Awesome. Even though my liver problem means I can’t drink OR shoot up heroin, but try explaining that one to Human Resources.

I’m waiting to hear the results. They say no news is good news.  It might also be said that no news means they think you’re strung out on something stronger than dandelions. So now I’m scouring the classifieds for a position with an employer seeking hard-working individuals with a taste for poppy seed baked goods. I’ll let you know what I find.

If I can't get regular employment due to my hygienic and dietary  habits, I could be a kennel girl.

If I can’t get regular employment due to my hygienic and dietary habits, I could be a kennel girl.

 

You shall submit! Your link, that is!

And This Is What It’s Come To

I never thought spending a few hours a week caring for tortoises at a zoo would lead me to this. It’s a slippery slope. I started out innocently enough, just wanting to offer my tortoise friends a little treat now and then.   But here I am, bundled against the chilly weather and sneaking out of the house in the wee hours to cruise the neighborhood for weeds. I am ashamed. Especially when a neighbor drives by and catches me stumbling along in the gloam with my baggie of cabbaged dandelion (not actual cabbage, of course. Real cabbage is bad for tortoises).

It’s not just dandelion I’m after anymore. Dandelions are a gateway weed. Now I’m also searching high and low for mallow, and even the occasional Japanese honeysuckle and chickweed.  If this downward spiral continues, I’ll find myself hitting the back part of the playground for some hoary plantain (maybe it’s more politically correct to call it “plantain of questionable morals?” “working plantain?”).

And not only am I trying to score weeds in the neighborhood, I’ve also been scouring the internet for the proper artificial lighting and seeds so I can grow my own. If I’ get good at it, I may sell some, too.

It's a gateway weed. Look at that lovely bloom! Why don't my dandelions bloom like that? I covet!

It’s a gateway weed. Look at that lovely bloom! Why don’t my dandelions bloom like that? I covet! source: simple-wikipedia

Tortoise-keeping is leading me into all kinds of other sins, as well. I know it says in the Bible “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s dandelions.” Or something like that. But I do. I so covet them. If you saw them, you would to! The base of the plants themselves is six inches wide. The full-grown leaves are twelve inches long. Those are some dandelions! They could feed the entire collection by themselves!

When I look at the piddly little plants in my own yard and their stupid little two-inch leaves, I am just green with envy. Green with a pretty yellow bloom. What does my neighbor’s yard have that I don’t have? Their dandelions are growing out of a brick wall, for Pete’s sake! What’s so wrong with me? Why can’t I have nice things, too?

I’m discontent. It’s true what they say. The chickweed is always greener in someone else’s rock wall. I think we are going to have to pack up and move to a place where the weeds are thicker and a girl can catch a break.

Every time I come home with my bag of weeds, I promise myself this will be the last time. I’ll settle down with some nice collards or a little kale. And then I see this face.

Bored. So bored. What's with the plain greens? Score me some weeds, yo!

Bored. So bored. What’s with the plain greens? Score me some weeds, yo!

And the next thing I know,  I’m cruising the neighborhood with my giant Zip-loc bag and wishing my neighbors were less attentive gardeners. Where will it end? I’m waiting to show up on the daily Neighborhood Watch emails – a suspect with the springtime shakes, covered in dirt canvasing the weedy and seedy parts of the neighborhood weeding people’s gardens. Technically, I’m not actually weeding, though. I just take some of the leaves. If I yank them out by the roots, I’ve essentially cut of my own supply. How sad is it that I’ve thought it through that carefully? Don’t answer.

Maybe it’s just spring fever. We’ve been dependent on grocery store greens for far too long, and now that stuff is blooming and growing, I’ve gone a little nuts. Hopefully I’ll settle down in a few weeks. Maybe not, though. Soon it’ll be watermelon season!

Maybe it’s just spring fever. We’ve been dependent on grocery store greens for far too long, and now that stuff is blooming and growing, I’ve gone a little nuts. Hopefully I’ll settle down in a few weeks. Maybe not, though. Soon it’ll be watermelon season!

First the weeds, and now taking questionable photos of tortoise bellybuttons. But look how it has closed up since last time!

First the weeds, and now taking questionable photos of tortoise bellybuttons. But look how it has closed up since last time!

I have some exciting news to post soon. As soon as I get the green-light to share, I will!

The Benefit of Second-hand Smoke, Part 2

When last we met, my husband and I had gone to see a real movie in a real movie theater, a movie theater that quickly filled with cigarette smoke. I know. I didn’t believe it, either.

Warning. Spoilers abound. Skip to the next bold print if you need to.

I introduced you to the marvelously stupid rock-Transformers, otherwise known as the Watchers. Remember them from Sunday School? Nah, me neither.

Yeah. The Watchers were fallen angels (the Nephilim in the Old Testament. But instead of marrying the daughters of men, these guys helped build the ark. I know. And they looked pretty much like this, give or take a leg or two.

Yeah. The Watchers were fallen angels (the Nephilim in the Old Testament. But instead of marrying the daughters of men, these guys helped build the ark. I know. And they looked pretty much like this, give or take a leg or two.

 

Originally, I thought it was a period piece. I was kind of right. It’s bloated and made me scream a lot.

I don’t know what the message was supposed to be. Was it a fitness movie? There was a lot of running. Or maybe it was about hugging? There was a lot of hugging, too.

It wasn’t about the ark. In reality, it took years. In the movie, it was built in a two-minute montage with the aid of a magic seed and the rock-Transformers. It wasn’t so much about his adventure with the animals, either. They were glossed over, arriving in an amorphous mass and appearing to be generally the same species. Has the director only seen two kinds of snakes in his life? And the moment they arrive, he tucks them neatly away by putting them to sleep with the help of special happy smoke so they don’t eat each other or him during their time on the ark. (But if they wake up with the munchies, he pretty much defeated his own purpose, right?). So they’re going to sleep for the next year.

I think the movie’s biggest failure is that the director forgot he was making a movie that was based on a book – a book that maybe a few billion people have read. It’s a huge risk. There are a couple of ways to pull it off successfully. A director needs to think so far outside of the box that it hits viewers right over the head and they know to expect the unexpected. “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?” comes to mind. It’s a genius retelling of the Odyssey, and one of my favorite movies. I get a lot of satisfaction finding the elements that tie it to the original story. The other way is to stick pretty darned close to canon. This director does neither. Big mistake.

I know Aronofsky is an atheist. I don’t think he had to believe in God the Creator in order for the film to work. Sadly, though, he did not believe in God the character, either. He commits the cardinal sin for writers everywhere. He tells instead of shows. Rather than hearing God’s voice and hearing the message right along with Noah, we are treated to a dream in which Russell Crowe spends ten seconds underwater. The moment he wakes up, he’s all “The Creator said I gotta build this big boat and we’re all gonna die!” Really? That’s what you got from that dream, Noah? Right. Last night, I dreamed my dog Phoebe ate my wallet and turned into a jackalope. So I’m pretty sure that means God wants me to buy a wardrobe of pink hot pants, strap on some rollerblades, and run for President. That leap was weak at best, lazy at worst.

The problem with taking God out of the story is that without Him, Noah’s motivations become muddied. In the first hour, Noah isn’t shown in any act of worship, he just seems to have a general idea about what’s right. It reminds me of the phase of my life when I went to church on Easter because I had this vague notion that’s what I was supposed to do. Would someone with that level of devotion believe they were being told to build a giant boat? And would they obey? Doubtful. Maybe he would build the boat out of self-preservation, but then how do you work killing his grandbabies into it? Suddenly the film makes no sense. There’s no believable catalyst.

Imagine The Lord of the Rings with no Gandalf. Frodo just tells us he met this old guy who said he was supposed to hike 1500 miles and dump a ring into a volcano. Would we buy it? Probably not. We needed to see Gandalf, to experience his terror  first-hand. Only then can we swallow the premise of Frodo’s perilous journey. And we do, hook, like, and Slinker/Stinker.

Maybe it was about vegetarianism? The bad guys were first labeled to us as bad guys because … wait for it… they ate meat. Killing animals is wrong, wrong, wrong. Forget that (in the Bible) God actually instructed man to make animal sacrifices and that Noah was to bring seven pairs each of the sacrificial animals.  Or that in the story of Cain and Abel, the murderer was the veggie-raiser, not the shepherd.

Oh, wait. I did say I would bold a section to let the spoiler-haters know when to tag back in. Here you go!

It was a mess of a film with everything and nothing going on at once. I know it was directed by an atheist. That doesn’t bother me. It could still have been a thought-provoking and engaging film without the religious aspect. But when the intent is to remove the religion from a religious story, it needs to be replaced with something else equally compelling and profound, more than just “eating meat makes you the devil.”

I can live with poor movie making, lazy plot and silly CGI, though. The deal breaker, what prompted us to get up and walk out of the theater, was the over-the-top violence that partially involved over-the-top cruelty to animals. When I buy a ticket for a movie rated PG-13, I should feel comfortable in knowing I am not about to be subjected to animals screaming while they are ripped apart  or have to watch them try to get away after their body is mangled. PG-13, huh? Is that the kind of thing you want your 13-year-old desensitized to? I don’t. When the violence is taken to that level, the film needs to be slapped with a big, fat R. It’s not a kid’s movie. It’s not a teenager’s move, either, in my opinion.

Was Aronofsky thumbing his nose at believers? “Here’s what I did to a favorite religious story! Neener-neener!” I don’t know. Maybe. But it reminds me of the time in an act of supreme defiance, one of my toddler children peed on the dog. Yes, the kid made their point and I had a bit of a mess to clean up, but the kid was the one who stooped to peeing on the dog. Which of us had the bigger problem? So Darren, dude, I hate to be the one to tell you, but you just peed on the dog.

So we walked out. And thanks to the smoker, we had a good enough reason to get our money back. Because that’s what we did. We could have gotten return tickets to come back when Smoky Joe wasn’t there anymore, but we didn’t. We got the refund. Because life is too short to sit through a pointless picture.

 

The Benefit of Second-hand Smoke

My husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a movie. Like, in a theater. I found one I wanted to see, and off we went.

About two minutes into the film, husband and I looked at each other and said “Is someone smoking?” And the answer was yes. Smoking. In a movie theater. The audience collectively waited for the miscreant to put the thing out. We couldn’t see the culprit, but it was pretty obvious to everyone that they were there. (Let me interject right here that I am not a “condemn smokers to hell” kind of gal. I am, however, asthmatic. And seriously. Smoking? In a movie theater? C’mon, kids!) It was like hanging out in a bar.

Don't smoke in the theater. Angry usher will get you! Or bring you pizza. Whatevs.

Don’t smoke in the theater. Angry usher will get you! Or bring you pizza. Whatevs.

One person left the theater and returned with an usher. She could not find the source of the smoke. My money was on the kid who said “F- you” repeatedly when she came up the steps toward him, but I am no Sherlock Holmes. Instead of ousting him, she brought him a pizza. No, I am not kidding. She did get another usher, however. The two of them scoured the place with no luck. After another complaint, a manager was brought in. She could smell the general direction the smoke was coming from, but she couldn’t catch anybody. Finally, we moved seats hoping that we could at least get away from the worst of it. After an hour, we left the theater and got our money back, and as we left, an officer of the law came in to try to sort it out.

My husband and I will be ever grateful to the individual who decided to flaunt social graces and light up illegally. In doing so, they saved us from perhaps the worst movie I have ever seen. And I even watched Dodgeball. Accidentally. The drama in the theater itself was more compelling than the action on screen. Yeah, I’m talking about Noah.

GIANT SPOILER ALERT. I know. You’ve already read the Bible story, so you know what happens. Trust me when I say you don’t.

I knew next to nothing about this movie going in, except that it was a retelling of the story of Noah’s Ark. And it starred Gladiator and Hermione Granger. And Hannibal Lechter as Grandpa. What else do you need to know, really?

So a few minutes in, I began to question the authenticity of the piece. The wheel hadn’t been invented yet, but we are shown a mine with some kind of wind-driven machinery. Okay, then. So it’s fantasy? I can live with that. Then the rock-Transformers show up.

Yeah. The Watchers were fallen angels (the Nephilim in the Old Testament. But instead of marrying the daughters of men, these guys helped build the ark. I know. And they looked pretty much like this, give or take a leg or two.

Yeah.So.  The Watchers. They looked pretty much like this, give or take a leg or two.

The Watchers were fallen angels. And boy did they fall far. Instead of looking all glam and naughty-angel-like, they looked like walking charcoal briquettes. Except they didn’t burn. And they could totally kick human tail, except for when they couldn’t. I don’t know. It didn’t make sense to me, either. There currently aren’t any images of them available because they’re pretty hilarious. Shh. They’re top secret.

This post became entirely too long and cumbersome for one sitting. Stay tuned tomorrow for the conclusion of “Why This Movie Was a Real Waste of Time.”

Have you seen it? Did the rock-Transformers make you giggle?

Happy Things

It’s Spring Break! Well, it was. I had a whole week off. That’s a lie. I had quite a to-do list, so there was very little time for the nothingness I had hoped for, but it was still pretty darned good. I thought I would share a little of the awesome with you.

Most folks know I’m a zoo girl. One day a week, it is my privilege to get to work with critically endangered turtles and tortoises. One of them is the Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata), a species native to Madagascar whose numbers have dropped by half in the last ten years. We have a breeding pair of them, and this year I was asked to teach them to drink out of a water  bowl. Sounds weird. An animal encounters water, they should know how to drink, right? But some animals do not. If the surface of the water is not moving, many desert animals are not stimulated to drink. They can see the water, and they can smell it, but they don’t quite know what to do with it. The chances of them encountering standing water in the wild are almost non-existent.

Armed with a spray mister and no small amount of determination, I set out to teach our pair what a water bowl is for. When Radiated tortoises feel a spray of rain, they instinctively stand. They have even been known to dance. The idea behind the spray mister is to get them to their feet and then place the water bowl right next to them so that when they lay down, they are practically in it. Then the surface of the water is sprayed to agitate it an hopefully inspire the animal to take a drink.

The animals are naturally shy. At first, I had to stand behind them while I sprayed so that they would come out of their shell at all. Tortoises can see colors, and the bright blue volunteer shirt was a little off-putting and reminded them I was there.  I had no luck at first. They were too intimidated by my presence to drink. After a few weeks, we began to see some progress. They would stand for up to 20 minutes while I sprayed them, but they still wouldn’t drink. A couple of times, one or the other would land clumsily in the water bowl. I could see twin dimples in the water from their nostrils as they took the scent of the water. They tasted it briefly, and then got startled and pulled back in their shells.

Long story short (too late?), after three months of work, my work is done. Just in time to send them outside for the summer where they will forget everything I taught them. But I did it. There is nothing more satisfying than watching the female turn toward the bowl and dip her head, the muscles in her neck moving rhythmically as she takes a long drink.

There are things you don’t expect to see on my blog. Mammals are one of those things. But my friend called a couple of days ago and shared the exciting news that her English cocker spaniel had delivered a litter of eight puppies. Eight. Six girls, two boys, all doing very well.

Over the next couple of weeks, the pigment in their noses will begin to appear, their ears will open, and their fur will fill in. Right now they look like they haven’t quite cooked all the way. Give them time!

And here is my favorite happy thing to share today. People ask what I get out of blogging. Besides the endless piles of cash, of course. Sometimes the benefits of blogging are intangible. There’s the satisfaction of a job well done. There is also the joy of meeting a fellow blogger in person and learning they are exactly as you imagined them to be, except even better. And then there’s this:

Yes. It's a barf bag. The most wonderful barf bag in the history of such things.

Yes. It’s a barf bag. The most wonderful barf bag in the history of such things.

 

I came home the other day, and I found this beauty in the mail. After reading my Pinterest craft post, a wonderful blogger sent me the most fabulous Hello Kitty motion discomfort bag. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! I can now honestly say I am not in blogging for the money. I’m in it for the barf bags. Thank you, Susan! I treasure it! And if you have never read Susan’s work, go visit her at Lost In China. She has been Freshly Pressed a few times, and for good reason. Go read about her online dating life and life with her very traditional parents. I’ve linked you to one of my favorite posts. Go! Read! Laugh!

I have other good things to share. There is just too much awesome in my life for one post. Stay tuned! What’s awesome in your world?

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Denial Ain’t Just a River

For all intents and purposes, it’s Spring. But some I know are pretending they didn’t get the memo. Remember the Pyxis arachnoides brygooi from a few weeks ago? Their lights are on, the heat has been turned up. It’s time for wakey-wakey. I get a few subtle hints they’re not  quite ready.

 

Some of them are dug in more deeply now that they were a few months ago, like they’re trying to hit some kind of snooze bar. Click to enlarge.

And then there’s my favorite.  Cracks me right up!

Yeah, that's lunch to the right of her. She'd rather sleep than eat. I know the feeling, don't you? And those are some for serious sand piles! She was in a hurry!

Yeah, that’s lunch to the right of her. She’d rather sleep than eat. I know the feeling, don’t you? And those are some for serious sand piles! She was in a hurry to get back to bed!

Happy tortoise day!

Maybe This Will Be My Day

The sun melts all around me, and yet...

The sun melts all around me, and yet…

It happens sometimes. The good things swirl around and around me, teasing with their nearness, but then they dance away again like bashful butterflies, never lighting on me.

The last couple of weeks have been like that. I feel like I am invisible. I see the people around me wallowing in the richness. I try to be happy for them, to experience their joy the way I know they would for me. But it’s hard. I am sick and sad and a little jealous.

I ask myself what’s wrong with me? Am I not as good as everybody else? Why them? Why not me? Am I invisible? I want to scream “HERE I AM!” Is there something wrong with me?

Sometimes I feel angry, too. I have  the same wants and needs as anybody else.

I pick myself up and move on. It is for me to choose how I view the world, and I choose hope. I get out of bed now each and every morning with one thought. Maybe today is for me. Perhaps it is my turn. And I feel that hope. And I hold onto it and I pray.

And one day, when I say it, it will be true. One day will be the day that someone says those words I so long to hear:

Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”

Because I WOULD like to buy some Thin Mints. I have money and everything. And not a single Girl Scout has asked. It hurts. But maybe today will be my day. I have $4. Let’s talk.

Why You Don’t Want Me To Watch TV

Last night, I had a rare girls’ night with  my mom and my sister. We had a great time, but on my way home, I started to feel a little ill. I think the bacon-wrapped pork roulade was a little rich for me, and the venison was rather overdone. Chicken, okay? I ate chicken. With Lima beans and some dressing. Stove top stuffing, to be exact. Not guaciale seared scallops or cassoulet.

Our girls’ night consisted of back-to-back episodes of DVR’d episodes from the Food Network. Three hours of chefs sweating over what to do with the bizarre mystery ingredients unveiled to them in their baskets, and I felt like I had eaten my way across six continents. Television isn’t good for me.

I have a TV, of course. We paid $10 for it at a yard sale about six years ago. It works just fine. Okay, maybe everyone on the screen appears to be four inches tall and pink, and the sound quality is so bad that the television can be heard more clearly upstairs than in the room where it resides, but it’s good enough for me. And it’s obviously all that I can handle.

The set we watched last night was a little bigger than mine, the picture and sound clear as a bell. The people looked like people instead of Oompah Loompahs, and the food looked like food.  Well, most of it did. After a couple of hours, that line between entertainment and reality gets a little blurred, and I start to feel bloated from all that bacon. What is this obsession with bacon, anyway?  I don’t get it. Give me a pork bracioli and  broccoli rabe florets with a touch of raspberry truffle. That was actually not bad. Wait… Did I…? Chicken. That’s right. I ate chicken. I keep forgetting. The lines, how they blur! Maybe I just need new glasses…

I got so lost in my viewing pleasure that I know I will have to choose the shows I watch on a real television very carefully. I couldn’t watch The Bachelor without a divorce attorney present. I’d need to get my shots before I ever turned on The Amazing Race. I’m less worried about The Voice because I don’t even know what it is. Do they speak? Sing? Does the champion screamer win?

I’ve decided that television twice a month is probably all I can handle without gaining a lot of imaginary weight. I’m going back to books, I think. I’m better off with reading anyway. When I start The Hobbit for the millionth time, I don’t have to worry about those lines blurring because I already know it’s real.

 

Totally free-hand. If I were not a writer, I'd have to be an artist, right?

Totally free-hand. If I were not a writer, I’d have to be an artist, right?

 

What Just Happened Here?

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I know. Especially if it’s Phoebe because she’s a special case. She thinks she has puppies right now. She has collected all of her lovies into a pile on the couch, and she spends her day mothering them. And smothering them.  And chewing out their squeakers. That’s mothering, right?

Ah, sweet Phoebe. The Joan Crawford of dogdom.

Ah, sweet Phoebe. The Joan Crawford of dogdom. The good news is that she’s officially retired as a show dog, so I can spay her this spring. Can I get a hallelujah?!

 

But that adage (axiom? allegory? alliteration?) doesn’t necessarily apply to humans. This old dawg is learning. And doing. There is hope! This has been my week of learning new things, trying new things, accepting new things. It is good.

For the first time in 25 years, I have submitted a piece for publication. I won’t hear for a while if it was accepted, but I’m okay with that. If I get accepted, it’s a publishing credential. If I don’t I get a rejection letter for the spike and an opportunity to thicken my skin. It’s a win either way. The important part is that I learned I could push past my fear and just do it.

This week, I also learned that time marches on. Squish and I went to Kindergarten Roundup, which sounds like it should involve cattle and lassos, but instead involves text books and tears. Mine. He’s going to start school in the fall, ready or not. He’s ready, of course. It’s the parents who are blindsided.

And then there’s my newest venture. I just signed on as a contributor to a local blog, and today my first post went live. You can find it here. If you have kids (or even know kids), go ahead and click over there. Today I shared my favorite free educational website for kids. I teach computer classes to grades K-8, and I love, love, love the website for a whole lotta reasons.

And now it’s the time in our program where I teach you something, too! Impressed tortoises are pretty adept climbers when the situation presents itself. Who knew?

What? There's a Girl Scout cookie table outside of Target? Get my purse. I'm outta here!

What? There’s a Girl Scout cookie table outside of Target? Get my purse. I’m outta here!