Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Yesterday we buried our female lizard. I noticed last week that her spine was protruding and she had stopped eating. I knew, at over eight years of age, that she was failing. I did not want to deal with this and hoped that she was having a simple minor set back. This was not to be the case.

These two lizards were not our first. Our first bearded dragon was stolen from the place we boarded him while we were on vacation. He belonged to our son who was a child at the time. This lizard was a giant of his species and very pretty (as lizards go.)
We came home from a week at Virginia Beach to a phone call telling us that someone had entered their lizard room, took our lizard from his cage, stuffed it under their jacket and run out the door. Of course, we were a devastated.

The store replaced the stolen lizard and John purchased another to keep it company. These two were a mere half inch in length and were adorable. We called them 'our babies.'

We had them sexed and found out we had a male and a female and sure enough, within the next couple of years, she became loaded with eggs. I read up on them and filled a little five gallon tank with dirt, added a bit of water and formed a cave. I placed her in there and she backed into the cave and laid a dozen eggs.

I made an incubator and carefully spooned out each egg and laid it in the incubator, all the while my female lizard protectively watching. (anyone who thinks reptiles do not have maternal instincts is just plain wrong; this little mama was nervous and did not leave her perch from where she watched everything I did with her eggs.

In her lifetime, she laid five 'clutches' of eggs, each between 12 and 14 eggs but somehow I never mastered the proper formula of humidity/temperature etc, and none of the eggs ever hatched.

She had an least to me..feature of an underbite. Sometimes she had difficulty holding on to a wiggling cricket and had to be helped getting it into her mouth and down her throat. She was worth the effort it took to help her; I truly loved her.

This breed of lizards is from Australia, gets to be over a foot in length and are known as the felines of the lizard world. They are slow moving, calm, and bond with their owners. She was always interested when we turned on her light in the morning, and watched us with curiosity.

The male seems to be grieving. I hope he doesn't waste away, missing his mate.

I cried when she died, but also I was glad we had her for so long. I know she had a good life and she earned her name..

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Gift

This is what I've decided: Folks just have too much time on their hands. I came to this conclusion because I am, of late, just way too busy to fret over life's BIG questions or to worry about what other people are doing wrong.

Both of my kids have moved back home, which is fine. I work retail in a little bookstore which is in the tail end of a busy Christmas shopping frenzy. I am busy, way too busy, to do much else other than work, cook, shop for my own family and friends and keep this house running somewhat smoothly.

In all this I think I have stumbled upon a little truism about life; if you spend any serious amount of time fretting over much of anything, then you are not busy enough just living.

I fall into bed each night too exhausted to do as much as open a book to read a bit. And I fall into that bed really early, sometimes before 7pm.

Every now and then, life hands me a little reward, like yesterday. In fact it happened twice to me yesterday. First, our local tv weatherman, Vernon Connor (no relation to me), stopped in the store.

"Hey Beej,"he said. "Watch the 10 o'clock news tonight. I'm going to pull on my ear like Carol Burnett used to do, to give you a little greeting over the air."

Rest assured, I was deep into la-la land by 10pm, but I am confident that while I was asleep, Vernon Connor was tugging at his ear lobe. I missed it but I know thousands of folks witnessed it.

The other little reward truly touched my heart. An elderly gentleman approached me at the store.

"Can you do a favor for me?" he asked. "There's a little lady back in the kids' books section. She's pushing a stroller and has five other little kids with her..."

He reached out his hand and gave me five $20 bills.

"Can you give this to her and tell her Santa says Merry Christmas?"

"Of course I can." and off I went.

She wasn't difficult to find. Pregnant and pushing a stroller, she was surrounded by five other little ones. They were all extraordinarily well behaved. I gave her 'Santa's' message and she protested. I assured her the gentleman had left the store and she meekly took the cash. she was, of course, unbelievably touched.

Of course, she was touched, but so was I. It was a gift for me, too, to witness this.

This is Christmas. This is the spirit that was intended. This is the selfless thought behind the gesture of giving, the gesture of caring, the many gestures of loving.

Yes, I believe there is a Santa after all.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Day

Here it is after 5pm on my day off and I have accomplished NOTHING. In fact I did something I very rarely do; I stayed in my robe until mid afternoon. It was relaxing, of course, but I feel like I've wasted the entire day.

The doctor's visit; First, I lost six lbs in the past week which left me a bit bewildered because I've been eating like a horse, including a wonderful Thanksgiving day meal. But the doctor was amazed at how much better I looked even though he kept me on restricted work for another week. He gave me a refill for pain meds because my left arm is very sore and he told me my teeth, which still hurt, can take a few more weeks to 'settle.' After I left, I went right back to work.

We've been in the throes of a cold snap. I am not used to cold weather but
living in south Alabama, winter will come and go in a matter of weeks and then we should be blessed with another typically beautiful early Spring.

Right now, all is peaceful in our household. John is playing wii with our son and our daughter is making chicken fettuccini alfredo (my recipe, of course!)

Life is one big roller coaster.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Follow Up

It has been a week since my fall. I have a doctor's appointment this morning to see what residual damage is still lurking. My left arm is so sore that it keeps me awake at night. My eye teeth still hurt. The swelling on my upper lip has subsided quite a bit (or as my daughter so eloquently stated, I "don't look like Marge Simpson now, but more like Elvis Presley and his sneer.")

This has been a lesson that despite what happens, life goes on. Unless we die. But then it still goes on for those who outlive us.
eXTReMe Tracker