Friday, April 21, 2017

There's a SNAKE in the lobby!

Yesterday, there was a snake in my office building. In the lobby. On the handicapped ramp. It was itty bitty and terrified, it's little head covered in dust bunnies from skulking (can a snake skulk?) along the baseboards. Eventually, one of our guys carefully put a black wastebasket over it and called TWRA. Eventually, when they showed up, they identified the little guy as a common water snake (someone said it was a copperhead so no one was willing to go near it) and put it gently in a bucket labeled: SNAKES ONLY. Bye-bye little snake. Be free!

OK - I'm not a snake person really, and I probably wouldn't have touched it if you'd paid me, but it was a distraction. And I was clearly distracted because...

...well, let me back up a minute.

Prior to the snake incident, I'd been in my office filing. Truly, of all the activities which make up my job as an administrative assistant, I dislike filing the most. Good thing I love my job, eh? Anyway, having to wear a security badge all day, every day, whenever I'm on site, can get...annoying sometimes. The badge kept getting in my way as I was filing and finally, I'd gotten irritated enough that I yanked it off, tossed it on my desk, and continued filing.

I forgot all about it.

(Do you see where this is going yet?)

Shortly thereafter, our mail carrier poked his nose in my office and said, "There's a snake in the lobby!"

ME: A what, where?

HIM: A snake! In the lobby!

ME: You're joking, right?

HIM: No, Sunshine (that's what he calls me), I'm not joking. There's really a snake in the lobby.

So, of course, what do I do? I go to the lobby to check things out.

Like I said, I'm not much of a snake person, but I got distracted. Lots of people out there gawking at the snake, including my boss, a couple of other manager-types, my predecessor in my current position, among others. Chatter turned to questions about the possibility of other snakes. Where did this one come from? Were there others? Where there's one, there are usually more...right?

I said, "I'm going to step outside and take a quick peek around. If I see any more, I'll let you know," and proceeded to exit the building.

(Aahh! You've figured it out, haven't you?)

As soon as those building doors sealed shut behind me - like that second; that instant - I realized I'd left my security badge on my desk. Inside the building.

I was locked out.


Now what?

Well, initially I considered sheepishly banging on the door of the lobby and asking to be let back in, but, truthfully, my boss was still right there and I have enough pride to not want to look the fool in front of him. So I moved off to the left, ostensibly searching for more snakes, in case anyone should ask, and then I could just sort of follow them back in the building and no one would be the wiser, right?

But no one came out.

Of course, I would lock myself out of the building at a time of day when everyone was back from lunch and already settled into their afternoon work.


Now what?

In a moment of brief brilliance (I don't have those moments often), I remembered: K! I'll go ask K! Her window is on the lower level and accessible to me by a couple of steps through the landscaping. (I watched carefully for snakes.) I rapped a gentle shave-and-a-haircut on the glass and she paused, clearly wondering if she heard what she thought she heard, turned slowly around, saw me, and mouthed, "Where is your badge?" with a wicked grin.

I mouthed back: On my desk!

She mouthed: Ok. I'll come let you in.

After letting me in, she said, "You'd better have a good story for leaving your badge on your desk, you goober!" (or some variation thereof.) After which, I launched the "There's a snake in the lobby!" story.

It was an interesting day.

I love my friends. Thanks again for rescuing me, K!


Monday, April 17, 2017


Do you remember my post called My Current 'Shiny Squirrel'? This is the little thing I wrote a month ago or so about April, the pregnant giraffe. Well, she finally had her baby and I was there to see it. Ok, not there there, but I was able to catch it live! Girl-child saw it, too - sort of by accident - and she recoiled in horror, announcing, "EW! GROSS!" We've had The Talk (most of it) but I think she was unprepared. I said, "Well, honey - that's how all babies are born, except human babies don't fall to the ground, they're 'caught' by a doctor." She said, "Except the babies who are hatched from eggs, mom!"


New meds are...underwhelming? I've been on them for several weeks now and the biggest difference I've noted is that my jaw is constantly tight and hurts all the time. It wakes me up at night and I try to relax my jaw but I'm clenching so hard my whole face hurts. I'm grateful I go back to the doctor on May 4th (May the Fourth be with you!) so we can talk about this. I know it has to be medicine-related because I've experienced something like this before, a sensitivity to Lexapro (1% of people taking Lexapro may experience jaw pain and tightness) which is another antidepressant. This is painfully similar.

Other than that, I've gained weight, which irritates the you-know-what out of me. I suspect that, too, is medicine-related. We'll see.


We took a mini-vacation this past weekend. Nothing super exciting, but it was fun and impromptu. We visited some of Hubby's family, stayed in a fancy hotel (Yay Priceline!), ate in a dive diner (which was awesome), visited the church we got married in almost 17 years (and two kiddos) ago, and took our time coming back. We stopped off in a few places, fished in a couple other places, and finally got home just before 9PM. The picture (at left) is my favorite picture from our mini-vacation; because there's just such joy in it. Go Girl-child!


Work has been seriously busy. Good, but busy.


Sandy/Mom has been unhappy, but improving in small increments. I am grateful for any improvement because even little improvements are huge steps toward recovery. She's still in a nursing home right now, rehabilitating, but she shows more progress every day.


My allergies are - in a word - awful. So are Boy-child's. We're both a mess. You want a classic example of seasonal allergies? Here we are!


That's about all I can think of right now. Have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day! (Oh! Spell-Check didn't tag that word? Seriously? How odd. Either it's in the dictionary and I spelled it correctly, or it's so far from Spell-Check's ability to even distinguish it as a word, that it doesn't have any idea what to do. I'll take "Mary-Poppins Words" for $2000, Alex!)


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Drowning and the Lottery

I tend to steer away from writing about other people I'm close to - in particular my husband - simply because he's not a fan of having his world laid open for everyone to see. No matter what else is wrong with me, I've got to have an outlet and for me, that's what this blog is, right or wrong.  I also try to steer away from talking too deeply about my adoptive mother, Sandy. A lot of time, I refer to her as Gammy because it's less invasive, I think, to her privacy.  Needless to say, sometimes it cannot, or maybe, more accurately, should not be avoided.

I've spent a lot of time lately trying to unbury myself from years of depression and anxiety and, while it's really only been a few weeks, I could tell I was on an upswing. I was starting to feel better, a little, I think. I honestly don't know because I'm not sure I really know what feeling better feels like. (Gosh, what an awful sentence! You understood that, right?)

Anyway - I am trying very hard not to immediately dive into the negative and trying to focus on the positive. But by golly, it seems something is always trying to knock me down! Has my strength not been tested enough already? Except, that I just do what I always do - like the saying/song goes - I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. I keep going. I do it anyway. Because honestly, it's worse if I don't push forward. It's what I do.

People say, "You've got to take time for you!" or "If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else!" or "Make sure you get some rest!" - and they're all well-meaning. But quite frankly I don't have time for me right now. I've got time for kids, and hubby, and house, and work, and church, and Sandy and everything all of those things include, like school stuff and homework, art night. Church plays, Sunday school, Puppets. Cat litter, daily feedings, vet visits, flea meds, brushing, love, attention, what-the-heck-are-you-doing-with-that-Q-tip? Scouting events, merit badges. Cookies, cookies, cookies. Do laundry - pile after pile. Make sure kids stay clean and healthy. Talk about stuff that's important. Make sure I continue to get a paycheck by doing what they pay me to do, which is no small feat in itself.

My ability to find room for one more thing on a regular, daily basis is basically nil. I'm already up to my eyeballs and then some, breathing through a thin reed, and praying I don't drown.

So, when Sandy had yet another health scare this past weekend I just felt so...frustrated! With her (not that it was her fault), with the situation (not that it could have been helped), with me (because I feel like I'm not doing enough), with the fact that I can't find a way to help her (because...lots of reasons), with everything! As difficult of a relationship as she and I sometimes have, she basically saved my life and I will do anything - anything - to reciprocate.

Therefore, I am now consumed by trying to solve this problem. Because that's what it is, a problem. Clearly she cannot live on her own anymore, but she's not ready for a nursing home and cannot afford assisted living. Which means, at the very least, she'd need to move in with me and my family. And as we currently are, that is an impossibility.

Basically, I need to win the lottery. Just a couple million dollars; I'm not asking for much. Then I could fix up and pay off the house we're in, and buy something suitable for us and Sandy. See? I just solved the problem.

Right then! For the next six weeks, I expect to see lottery tickets in my mail box every time I look there.

I know. I know. Not gonna happen.

But a seriously frustrated person can dream, can they not?

Wish me luck.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dear Boy-child *OR* One Mother's Guilt

Dear Boy-child,

Sunday was your 13th birthday. I know I didn't do anything - really - to help you celebrate. I feel awful about it. My reasoning still stands, however. You've got to make an effort in your room, and with your other chores. We talked several times about consequences, and, unfortunately, that meant no major birthday celebration on a momentous birthday which should have been celebrated in a big way. You only become a teenager once in your life. I'm not blaming you for anything. I was just trying to be consistent in my parenting and discipline. But in hindsight, we should have celebrated. I'm so sorry. I know you feel let down. And I definitely feel like an awful mother.

I remember my own 13th birthday. My mom and dad (your Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bruce) purchased a huge motor home and took off on a trip across the country to see the sights. They were gone for several weeks, which happened to mean they were gone for the entire month of October and, therefore, gone for my birthday. I was so upset they weren't there, and to this day, it still bothers me. What I didn't understand at the time was how sick Grandma Mary really was. I guess they figured they should take the opportunity to go on that trip while she still felt well enough to go. I have postcards - tucked away, safely - from them, during that trip. I'll show them to you some day. They're painful for me to look at, because they remind me of my mom, and some of them are in her handwriting, and also because of my stupid missed birthday. Sometimes, I imagine they smell like her...which is probably weird.

But I'm not dying. I'm not even sick. Your father and I did not take a whirlwind trip across the country and leave you with family members and friends to take care of you. We should have celebrated your 13th birthday.

I'm sorry.

I love you so much. I am so proud of the young man you are. You make me a better person; I mean that quite literally.

Thank you for being you.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"I have two words for you: Therapy!"

I feel better today, I think. I'm plugged into Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats which is new to me and yet also very familiar. I love it! It's been good to tune out all the extraneous noise and listen to music; it seems to help me concentrate. Though, admittedly, having to remove my ear buds every time something comes up (which is often) is kind of annoying. But, it is what it is.

Girl-child and I had some bonding time last night, which not only put her in a better frame of mind (she's been a grouch lately) it made me feel better, too.  Kid therapy is great!

Speaking of therapy, the next time I see my doctor (which will be April 4th) I think I'm going to talk to him about seeing a therapist. What does he think about that? Does he know anyone he'd recommend? I've talked about this before - and relatively recently - with a friend of mine, who gave me some very sound advice and a direction to pursue, but none of the arrows I followed led anywhere. So I gave up. Now, granted, I didn't try very hard, but I wasn't ready then. I think maybe I am, now.

As a kid in therapy all I really remember is that my therapist used to like to play Chinese Checkers with me. I'm not sure if it was a method of getting me to just talk about stuff while "focusing" on something else or if she just didn't really know what to do with me. But I saw her for about three years and, other than remembering her name, Chinese Checkers, the way her office looked and smelled, I don't remember gleaning any benefit from it.

As a young adult in therapy, I was mortified. I didn't want to share anything that was super personal, and, though I know I was made to go with the hope that therapy would help me, a troubled young person, I was resentful of it. Yeah, I talked about stuff, but I don't think any of it was useful.

As an adult in therapy - which, truthfully, has been very minimal - I had the unfortunate experience of speaking to someone who, essentially, made things worse. She said stuff to me during our first meeting which, on the one hand made me feel like, "YAY! Someone who gets it! Someone who understands!" but on the other hand, didn't actually HELP me in any way. There was no guidance. Simply, cut the cord and be done with it. Forget about it. Move on. You do not feel the way you feel. I spent three sessions with her, and then decided not to go back. After that experience I've been...shall we say...cautious.

But maybe I'm ready now. I just need to find the right person, who also takes my insurance, who won't just say words they think I need to hear, but will tell me when I'm being a dummy, or if I'm on the right track; provide guidance back to the light and provide a helping hand out of the darkness.

Such a person has to exist in my town, don't they?


PS: Post title is a quote from the movie So, I Married an Axe Murderer. It's a comedy. It's funny. You should check it out.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ADD and Fine-Grit Sandpaper

There are days when I'm fine. There are days when I'm not. There are days where I feel like a ping pong ball - bouncing relentlessly between the rubberized paddles of "Fine" and "Not Fine," - blows on each side - wondering which one will win. (That makes me think of an A.A. Milne Poem, Waiting at the Window. And then, after thinking of the A.A. Milne poem, I think of my Grandma Tennie, who instilled in me a love of of poetry and antiques, among other things. Geez - I need to get caffeinated, I'm all over the place today; gotta reign in this ADD. I guess there's a reason this blog is called ...Off on a Tangent.)

Today, I am not fine, and I have no explanation for it. Nothing happened. No one said something. No one did anything. I got enough sleep (I think). But, when someone asks, "How are you?" and you burst into tears for no apparent reason, you're not fine. When that person asks, "Oh my gosh! What's wrong?" and you cannot explain any reason for your tears, you're not fine.

How do you explain something to someone for which you, yourself, have no explanation? You cannot. So therefore you say, "I'm fine," through the tears and walk away leaving the other party very confused. I care, and yet cannot care, about that.

So, today, I will tune out. I will plug my ears into some music (current selection: Turnpike Troubadours - a very recent addition to my beloved collection) which will hopefully act as fine-grit sandpaper and smooth out my rough edges. I will throw myself into my work and pray that when I look up, it will be time to go home and, further, that I am able to say I have have done my job in a manner in which I can be proud.

I will go home to my family.

I will do whatever needs to be done.

Today, I will "Do it anyway."


Monday, March 27, 2017

Birthdays and Head Lice

I did the thing.  The thing where I wrote and wrote and wrote - telling all about my weekend. Which, truthfully, was not awesome. And then, I realized no one really wanted to hear anything about the little stupid details of my entire weekend, so I just erased the entire thing. Poof! Gone. Clean slate. Sticking to important stuff.

I'm starting over.

The very most important and significant thing which happened this weekend was that Boy-child is now an official teenager! He turned 13 on Sunday. Newly-minted and all that.

I will say that I didn't have one thing planned for him - which, as I alluded to in my last post - made me feel like the world's most awful mother. But he got to go to a trampoline park with friends and get his very first fishing license. Since he is a fisherman of some surprising ability, getting his licence was a very good thing. He is super-excited. I think he half-hopes to be asked to prove he's licensed. (So, TVA/TWRA folks - if you're listening - if you see a 4'9" blond kid somewhere in the vicinity of The Secret City, ask him to show you his license. He'll get a kick out of it!)

I did bake him a cake, though. Which, even though it kind of fell apart on me, icing and decorations hid it pretty well. I guess that's something.

The other thing which happened this weekend, which, while certainly not as important or significant, is not to be left out - and if you find it gross, I don't care - is we discovered Girl-child had head lice!


Though, admittedly, finding one has bugs in one's hair is scary, the screaming and crying was over-the-top! I tried to calm her down. I explained this was a relatively easy fix and all I had to do was go to the store and get some stuff. (Side Note: As I was kneeling in front of her, with my hands on her face assuring her she was not, in fact, dying, she said, "Mom, you have a lot of gray in your hair!" Yes. Yes I do. And you just gave me twelve more.)  I left her - red-faced and puffy - wrapped in a towel sitting in the bathroom while I ran to Walgreens.

The pharmacist there was super nice and helpful and answered all my questions because I haven't dealt with lice before and had no idea what to do. Head lice has a stigma that comes with it, but I suppose maybe not as much as it used to. I'd certainly never seen them before. But the pharmacist assured me it was extremely common and easily treatable. Where Girl-child picked up the awful critters is anyone's guess - but I have a couple of thoughts on the matter.

As we were treating her noggin, I messaged anyone I knew she'd come into contact with that day and apologized, suggesting they also check their children.

The entire process, start-to-finish, took TWO HOURS! She finally went to bed (clean sheets; the others, along with all blankets, etc, got stripped off and washed immediately) at about 10:30PM.

The pharmacist suggested I, too, treat myself. Yay. (Hear that sarcasm?) So I did. Repeating the procedure on my own head.  So I am - and truthfully already was - bug/nit free.  Even so, I've got psychosomatic itching, which, more than anything is simply annoying.

So, poor Boy-child ended his relatively uneventful 13th birthday listening to his sister scream. (Yes, he was checked, too: nothing.)

Yay for weekends! I need a nap.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Depression and Tattoos

I sat down today with the goal of pouring my heart out. But, now that I'm here, I don't quite know where to begin.  The last couple of weeks have been kind of a whirlwind; so much has happened and yet, with everything going on, not too much has changed. I'm not sure I can explain it any better than that.

Girl-child turned 10 on March 8th. Official double digits. We honestly didn't do very much, which makes me feel like a horrible mother, but I just couldn't get my act together. We did, however, have a huge sheet cake at the Wednesday night supper at church (which corresponded very nicely with her actual day of birth) and everyone who was there sang Happy Birthday to her - to her high embarrassment. But she thanked me later. And everyone had birthday cake, which is always a good thing.

The next day, I had my very first appointment with my new doctor, and that was an unexpected experience in itself. To begin with, I hadn't been to just a regular primary care physician in over a year; for any reason. Filling out all that new patient paperwork made me realize just how sorely lacking my self-care had been. I could not remember how long it'd been since my last [fill in the blank] on just about any of it. Sad, sad, sad. Anyway, when the nurse called me back, she spent almost 30 solid minutes going over my health history with me. She was kind, thoughtful, insightful, non-judgmental, took her time and didn't make me feel as if she had somewhere else to be. She put me right at ease. When all that was said and done, she said the doctor would be right in and, my cynical self thought, "Yeah, right!" Because, let's be honest, who hasn't heard that before and then waited 20, 30, sometimes even 40 minutes before the doctor came right in.

But, miracle of miracles, five minutes later there was a knock on the door and in came my new doctor and an assistant.  He, too, took his time with me. He, too, was thoughtful, respectful, responsive, insightful, and didn't make me feel like he had somewhere else to be. What a different experience from what I'd become used to. We started going over my health - the usual stuff - but then he paused, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "'s your stress level?" And I lost it.

Really lost it.

I cried like an idiot in front of my new doctor.

I fully expected him to find an excuse to leave the room, but he just laid a gentle hand on my shoulder and said, "It's OK. This is a safe place to cry. Take as long as you need."

Once I'd calmed down some, we spent an extremely long time talking about my stress, emotions, moods, etc. In detail. It was simultaneously embarrassing, uncomfortable, gratifying and freeing. To talk about stuff I hadn't talked about in any real way for...well...ever.

In the end, I left with new prescriptions for my asthma (which I was out of, and, other than establishing myself with a new physician, was the primary purpose of my visit), as well as an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety, and a scheduled follow-up visit for a week later to see how things were going.

Well...if I'm being honest...I don't remember much about the following week. The anti-anxiety medicine basically made me into a semi-conscious zombie. I was a good patient, and took the medicine as it was prescribed, but it was - clearly - too much. Finally, the day before my follow-up visit, I didn't take my morning or afternoon doses because I was practically narcoleptic. That seemed to help. So by the time my follow-up appointment arrived, I felt mostly human again.  I relayed my situation to the doctor and he agreed; too much meds. We lowered the dose significantly and I've been fine ever since.

Also, my blood work indicated (as we suspected) very out-of-whack hormones and a severe vitamin D deficiency. So I am now also on a hormone creme which is supposedly going to "change my life" and extra doses of vitamin D.

All-in-all, I do feel better. I couldn't tell right away, but as the anti-depressant builds in my system I find myself feeling clearer and clearer. I'm still not "there" yet - wherever "there" is - but I am on my way. I think.

Which brings me to - at least partially - what I was originally going to write about. This depression thing has been going on since I was 13 or 14. I've either been seeing some form of therapist, or taking some form of medication, almost as long as I can remember. But, I've been without (by choice) either therapist or medicine for several years now. I guess I thought maybe I was as good as I'd ever be, things wouldn't get better, and I might as well get used to things as they were is what it is, right? I mean, at some point I guess I must have consciously decided to just deal with it, the depression, that is. And truthfully, I thought I was doing alright.

But lately, I began to realize I was not doing alright. That I needed help. And I remembered all the times I've said to others that it's OK to ask for help, so why did I feel that it was not OK for ME to ask for help, too? Stubbornness? A desire to be OK even if I wasn't? To not be a failure to myself? To others? The incorrect belief that if I looked OK on the outside, I might fool myself (and others) into believing I really was OK on the inside, too?  I've got people counting on me! I've got a good job, thank God! I've got responsibilities! I cannot, NOT be OK! It was simply unacceptable for me to show weakness - either to myself or to others.

But when my doctor asked, "'s your stress level?" it provided an unexpected opportunity to ask for the help I needed, even though I wasn't really sure what I needed. I know now that this, more than anything, was why I broke down and cried in his office.

Another thing. Last night was my monthly Girl's Night with my girlfriends. Truthfully, they're more my Soul Sisters. The 5 other women in my life who have held me together more times than they even realize. And we got to talking about tattoos (our conversations are always all across the map and are sacred and not to be repeated in most cases) and wouldn't it be neat if we - the sisters - could come up with a tattoo that represented all of us and we would each get one. Yes, I'm all for that. (Another story for another time, really.)  But, during that conversation, one friend asked us about our own personal symbols - a symbol that we each, individually, felt inextricably linked to. Something that we felt defined us, in a way. And though I had a symbol, I felt more linked to a particular phrase: "Do it anyway."

If you read my blog regularly, I think I've talked about this before, so you'll understand. However, to me, "Do it anyway," is my way of forcing myself to be OK. To force myself to get up in the morning, to take a shower, to drive to work and work all day, to do the laundry...sometimes to go tuck my kids in and kiss them and tell them I love them even though I've already gotten in bed.  To do all the little things I'd just rather not do because it would be easier to stay in bed all day and just give in to the blackness I feel. Don't want to do something? Do it anyway! (Within reason, of course, because it certainly cannot apply to everything!)

So I tried very hard to explain to my sisters what I envision when I think about this phrase: "Do it anyway."

Basically what I said was, when I think about a "normal" person - someone who doesn't suffer from depression and anxiety and constantly questions their self-worth - I think of a clear pane of glass, or a beautiful crystal bowl. Perfect. Lovely. Together. Transparent. Unblemished. But when I think about me and how I feel - how my depression and all the rest of it feels to me - I feel broken. Like shards of glass, or shattered crystal. And I see my mantra, "Do it anyway." written in pieces of glass.

It's hard to explain. I certainly wouldn't know how to take this image I see so perfectly in my mind and transfer it into a vision suitable for a tattoo. But you know what? I think I'm going to try.

One of my sisters said, "You know, that kinda shows your strength, actually." (I might be paraphrasing, but essentially that was it.) And I think maybe she might be right.

I want those words - where I can see them and remember what I've suffered through - clear for the world to see, too. I want someone to ask me about it. What does it mean?

For folks who live in their unblemished, clear-pane-of-glass worlds (not a judgment, I promise, just an observation), it might be hard to understand the struggle it is to live with depression and anxiety (among other things).  But for those who know...well, maybe they'll see my tattoo and they'll just GET IT. They'll understand. And they'll know I'm safe, that I'm someone they can talk to about their own struggle. And maybe, just maybe, they'll feel a little bit better.

Again - I feel like I'm having trouble explaining things. I suppose you can take all this (the words of this unbelievably long blog post) however you wish. Bottom line for me, though? I'm finally getting help and I have a vision I'd like to realize in the form of a tattoo. Now, I just need to save up the money.

Really? That's the summary of this long post? Well...I might have follow-ups in the future, but yes, for now, that's it.

I hope this post helps you in some small way. Because if it helps you - even if I don't know it - it will help me, too.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

My Current "Shiny Squirrel"

Is everyone as obsessed with April the Giraffe as I am?  You know, April the pregnant giraffe? It seems the whole world is holding their breath waiting for her to give birth. The world seems like it's falling apart (in my small, humble opinion), and everyone is watching a giraffe's hoo-hoo looking for signs of new life. Is this a metaphor?

I feel awful, mentally, right now and it seems that April is a mindless escape. I mean, I don't have the camera trained on the live feed all the time (ain't nobody got time for that!), but I do check in a couple of times a day.

I've learned a few things, too.

Bull giraffes aren't as docile as their female counterparts.  Not mean, exactly, but - as the YouTube, Animal Adventure Park live feed info says, "A bull is a bull is a bull." Infer what you will.

The things on their heads are called ossicones. Who knew? They are ossified cartilage covered with skin and fur and, as far as I can tell, have no purpose. The only other animal to have ossicones are Okapis. Huh? I'd never heard of an Okapi before, but they're an endangered species, related to the giraffe, and look like a deer mated with a zebra.

Anyway, when April finally begins to birth her baby, we'll see the baby's front hooves first, then the snout, then the rest will follow. A baby giraffe weighs, on average, 150 lbs, and is, on average, 6ft tall. A giraffe is pregnant for 15 months.

Wait! 15 months? Seriously? I absolutely cannot imagine being pregnant for 15 months. That little tidbit just blew me away! And imagine, a 150 lb, 6ft baby? I'm baffled. But then again, I'm not a giraffe, either. (Thank God!)

I would very much like to pet one, though. Hug it and squeeze it and call it Georgina? (Not George, because that would infer a male giraffe and, as we've already established, they're not much on the hugging and the squeezing.)

So, as the world waits with bated breath for April the gentle giant to have her huge baby, I am enthralled. Am I somehow hoping I'll be the first viewer to spot something happening? Nope. Do I expect anyone else to be interested? Nope. Is this a way to post an entry on my blog without having to talk about anything personal? Absolutely.

Am I OK?  Yes. Is anything really wrong? No. Am I in a funk? Yupperdoodle. And I'll get over it.

For now, I'll look at a giraffe's hoo-hoo along with the rest of the world.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Help! Aliens have stolen my children!

I'm becoming more and more convinced that aliens from a distant planet have descended upon the household and have stolen my sweet children. Aside from the ongoing battle of their rooms being kept clean (ha ha, I'm losing), the ATTITUDES are currently driving me mad. Especially Girl child. Boy child to a lesser extent.

One minute Girl child is sweet as roses and candy. How does that rhyme go? Sugar and spice and all things nice? Yep, that's her. Then the next minute my sweet little girl is gone and in her place is a yellow-eyed demon bent on world domination or destruction; take your pick. I'm getting whiplash from her mood swings.

Boy child is acting out in other ways, but none of them comparable to his little sister.

I know it's her age. She's exactly two weeks away from her 10th birthday. I know exactly what's going on (I am, after all - a girl, too), but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Nothing I've said, done, or yes, even threatened, has worked and I'm about ready to climb a tree, build a fort, and stay there until she's 18. My fort will be lined with lovely jewel-colored pillows with golden fringe, embroidered elephants, and tiny mirrors sewn into the fabric. Tapestries hanging from the ceiling. A thick, soft mat on the floor to sleep on. Electricity, of course. Maybe a little one-eyed stove for cooking tea or broth. I could live on tea and broth, right?

Of course, I'd have to seriously consider the work situation. Do I leave the comfort and serenity of my beautiful tree fort every day for work? They have showers at work after all, and smelling good might be, well...a good idea. Especially if I'm facing the public. Or, do I tuck tail, request a token for secure remote access, and work from home?

I think the whole showering thing probably wins that argument for me.