A year ago, my dream came true. A year ago, after years of agonizing wait, I walked into the Herpetology Department as a full time employee. Sometimes when a long-anticipated dream comes true at last, the sad discovery is that the reality doesn’t quite live up to the expectation. But sometimes it’s even better than imagined. And that’s where I’m sitting right now.

A year later, I still can’t believe my good fortune. Every, single day is an exciting adventure. Sometimes I stick to my regular routine, but most days there is some variation that provides color and makes me love my job even more.

One of my favorite new friends. A Corucia zebrata - Prehensile-tailed skink. They have no eyelids, so he looks this crazy eyed all the time.

One of my favorite new friends. A Corucia zebrata – Prehensile-tailed skink. They have no eyelids, so he looks this crazy eyed all the time.

I’ve learned so much this year, not the least of which is that I have so much more to learn. Routine is not equal to knowledge, friends. In many cases, I know what to do and how to do it, but not necessarily the why. But that part will come. Every day I make some new discovery that is old hat for my co-workers but is brand-spanking new knowledge for me. I stick those nuggets of learning in my pocket.

The year hasn’t been perfect. There are down sides to everything. I miss things at home sometimes because I have to work. My worship schedule is catch as catch can these days since I work on Sundays, and that leaves me feeling a little off balance at times. There are heartaches, as well. But there are also glorious triumphs. I savor those, each and every one.

I never get tired of looking at new hatchlings. Do you?

I never get tired of looking at new hatchlings. Do you? How squished up they are in their egg. This is a pancake tortoise.

A year ago, I was working in the afternoon with a rack of colubrids, mostly Grey-Banded Kingsnakes. While I was cleaning their cages and refilling their water bowls, a song came on the radio that I had never heard before. The song was the music in my heart, and I felt like it had been written just for me.

A year later, it’s still my song. It still holds true. I don’t know what magic this next year will hold for me. It could be the year I hatch a tortoise species new to me, or maybe my first ever clutch of snakes. I don’t know what my future holds, but I can’t wait to find out! I do know it’s going to be another happy one. Here’s to my old year, my new year, and my theme song. A year later, it’s still the song of my heart.

What is your happy today?

I’d Like to Thank the Academy


I must say that I am thrilled to pieces to be nominated for any kind of blogging award. I know this one doesn’t come with a million dollar, no-strings-attached check, but knowing that there are people out there who at least sometimes enjoy what I write makes me feel like a million bucks.

The first thing I would like to do is specifically thank the blogger who sent me this nifty little icon. I always try to read the blogs of those who comment on mine, and I’m really glad I did. Dogs, kids, the occasional rant. What’s not to like? If you have a moment, be sure to check out “WhatIMeant2Say

I am also asked to list seven fascinating things about me. I’ll pretend my readers care that:

1) I have 3 kids, but I usually only blog about one. Two of them are old enough to be potentially embarrassed by stuff that I write, and they’ve asked to prescreen anything I post about them. That seems fair to me. Squish, on the other hand, is at the age of implied consent.

2) I used to breed leopard geckos. Lots of them. And when Squish is older, I will, again. I have better pictures, but I can’t find them right now. Bonus fact: I may get a new snake very soon.

adolescent male

3) I can buck-dance. Which isn’t dirty. And when I hear bluegrass music, I have to dance. Standing still is not an option.

4) When I was in high school, my dog was nationally ranked in AKC obedience. I trained and showed him myself.

5) Whole Food’s mango almonds make me want to cry. But in a good way.

6) I was a fat kid. My grandmother made me a White Rabbit costume for my role in the school play, and I can still wear it.

7) I used to work on a sheep farm.


And now the hard part. Naming fellow bloggers for the award. This is actually my favorite section to read because I may find a new blog to love! I read a LOT of blogs. I have tried to choose those that haven’t already received the award, just to share the love. And if I didn’t mention you, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you! I only follow the blogs that I want to have in my inbox. I’ve got a ton of subscriptions to read this morning, and I will read them all, so your work does matter. It’s just that I have limited space. So here goes. In no particular order.

Hyperbole and a Half Yes, she’s famous, is publishing a book, etc. But she’s funny.

The Quiet Voice Read a few of his book reviews and other entries. And then I will tell you that he is in high school. Some of the best writing I have come across in a long time. Gives me hope for the future.

Peas and Cougars Very funny. And some days it has cartoons. Double score.

A blog about poop. What’s not to like.

Woman in Thrisis  I blog to which I can often relate. A lot.

The Ramblings Another funny one.


Adventures of Little People When you’re not looking, those little Fisher Price folks are up to some rather strange stuff.

Ramblings and Rumblings Another funny blog with solid writing.

The Byronic Man Stuff I wish I had written

The Middlest Sister So creative. Told with actual story boards. Must see to appreciate!

Usyaka Primarily photography. Of a very unique cat.

Brain For Thought Don’t read while eating. You will laugh until you choke.

And a couple of other blogs that have received the award but I want to mention anyway.

It Happens Every Day One of my faves. A dynamic blogging duo that makes me laugh.

If I Were Brave Honest and heartfelt


So there you have it. Check ’em out. It would make me happy, and we all know that is what life is about.