Knowledge is Power

Hey there.

I truly didn’t mean for nearly 4 months to go by before my next post. I feel like I’m in the confessional booth: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.  It’s been 4 months since my last blog post.” It’s been quite the ride recently. I completely changed careers, for the better, after realizing some things (or people, rather) just weren’t at all what they were cracked up to be. An opportunity presented itself, and I took a leap of faith.  After tons of studying for weeks around the clock, I passed the state licensing Health & Life Insurance exam and was certified to sell insurance in the state I reside. I work for an incredible company that sells insurance to school teachers and their families  – both retired and working, and also to retired public employees. I LOVE WHAT I DO. I am making a huge difference in people’s lives because of the policies I sell. I do everything from Medicare Supplements to Cancer Insurance (NOT a gimmick, as I have witnessed with my own eyes), Long Term Care Insurance (EXTREMELY important), Whole Life Insurance, Annuities, etc.  More importantly, the rates are extremely affordable as they are endorsed by a state association, and they are group negotiated rates. Anyway, long story short, I’ve been sorta wrapped up in my new career. And, that meant one huge issue: I was no longer working from home, as I did the last two years. So, we had to figure out what to do with the Honey Badger.

Well, I heard somewhere that knowledge is power.

So, we sent It to school.

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I am all for The Uniform. I think kids look much better and ready to learn when they are all tucked in, and nicely, uniformly dressed. However, you cannot cloak the Honey Badger entirely. She wore her vibrantly mismatched shoes, and flashed her lovely, little painted nails (each a different color). She displayed her beautiful feathers in a subtle, yet ingenious, way. Despite her flair, she was all business when she walked through the door. It’s been 5 weeks since she started, and she now owns the place.

Aside from the Honey Badger, we’ve had some other animal issues at hand. Flash, the PTSD hamster, kicked the bucket. He called it quits after a year in our home. When the Honey Badger turned 4, she received her very own hamster to torture play with. Her hamster is male, and she named him: Emily. We firmly believe that hamster fighting is not a sport, and we do not support it. But, sometimes things went on behind the couch that we weren’t necessarily paying close attention to, and hamster races/ homemade mazes / homemade hamster ramps might have been a couple of those things. We are saddened to deliver the news that Flash is sleeping with the fishes, but we want you to know that he is DEFINITELY in a much better place now.

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(He’s in this box, wrapped up in a Foot Locker bag [because “he liked sports”, said Dylan] taking a permanent dirt nap in our back yard. Yes, he’s in a better place, for sure. RIP, Flash. Hang in there, Emily.)

Ok, moving on. What else have we been up to? Oh, yeah! YOGA. Not just your Momma’s yoga, but DDP YOGA. We are doing the hell out of it, or trying to, anyway. We decided to take some pics of ourselves pre-workout. Don’t be jealous. It’s just that, we were really feeling it with our bandanas. We were channeling our inner Flash Dance. We ALWAYS wear bandanas when we do yoga. And, then we high five after the “Diamond Cutter” exhalation and a “BAM!” to the ground with our palms. The couple that does yoga together stays together!

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So we’ve had a major job change (oh, for my husband as well. He got a promotion, which meant completely new job responsibilities and learning curve), death of a beloved hamster, fitness regiment ignited, and two significant words that nine tenths of the population would understand : 

Breaking Bad.

We signed up for the free Netflix temp membership and dedicated ourselves to watching Seasons 1-5 of “BB” in a mere 30 days, so that we could get caught up with the rest of society for the Series Finale next Sunday. We came to the end of the free Season 5 episodes last night, but there are 8 more that we must watch to catch up, which aren’t easily accessible. We frantically Googled to see where we could stream them for free. If you were to bottle Breaking Bad and inject it directly into our veins, we would have breathed a sigh of relief last night. Instead, we connected my laptop to the flat screen TV and watched a choppy, crappy version of the next episode in the last series.

That’s all I will say about that, because I respect the silence and abhor the spoilers. But, it’s been a lot of sacrificing to get caught up, and a lot of serious dedication. A LOT. We feel we’ve come very far.

Lastly, I had a bit of a running list of some of the best Honey Badger quotes. I will leave you with some, not all, of those, as well as a promise to pick this thing back up and keep it running.

HONEY BADGER QUOTES

“Hey! I don’t hear that smell anymore!”

Erin, someday you’ll grow up and marry a nice man like your Daddy. “Then I’ll get my baby?!”

(Loudly, as in disbelief) “DO YOU KNOW WHAT FREEZING HOT MEANS?” No, I don’t. Please tell me. “IT MEANS IT’S FREEZING IN SPANISH!!!!!”

“I don’t like church. Why don’t you just take Daddy, and Grandma can babysit us.”

Erin, you feel warm. “I do? How come I?”

“Can I use scissors? I PROMISE I won’t cut my hair.”

From the backseat, while I’m driving: “Daddy’s awesome, right?” Yes, he sure is.  “He’s much more awesomer than you, right?!”

As always, thanks for reading.

Heavy Petting

Erin is completely, utterly, recklessly, 100% infatuated with Flash, her brother’s hamster. Dylan has been at his ‘other’ Dad’s house this weekend, so he has been spared the flagrant love affair. So far. He has no idea the extent of her crushing devotion to his pet. I am awakened every morning to a tiny, sweet whisper, and a tug on my arm, “Mommy?…… Mommy? I wanna go pet Fuh-lashhh!”  It’s such a simple statement. With many, many, many inconspicuous undertones. Such an awesome thing to wake up to. Of course I would love to torture the hamster, in the name of petting, prior to my first cup of coffee. Sean had the pleasure of hearing those sweet words Saturday morning and early this Sunday morning. I get to do it 5 days a week and he’s only relegated to 2. That’s not counting the multitude of times during the day that she requests to pet Flash. She’s under his spell. And, poor Flash, he’s under lock & key. He’s in the slammer until he gets monitored visitation from the Badger and her keeper.

Definitions of “To Pet” as per the Honey Badger

1) To fondle, grope.

2) To remove from cage by manhandling.

3) To place into her brother’s toys for amusement, such as: A-Team Van, and Military Transport Helicopter, and, well, see #4.

4) To nearly decapitate in the “Back to the Future” DeLorean (with working lights and actual swinging doors!).

5) To kiss, despite our pleas. “Erin, please don’t kiss Flash on the lips, or anywhere else for that matter.”

6) To fly in her pink airplane.

**Hang on, I need to take a swig from my Banana, Blueberry, Avocado, Kale, Flax Seed, Psyllium Husk, Almond Milk Smoothie that my husband made me a moment ago. **

Ok, I’m back. Erin just asked her Daddy if she could go “Pet Flash” again. We said he was pretty worn out from their playdates yesterday and this morning, sooooo he’s sound asleep.

Before I post pictures of their love in action, I will close with a quote from HB herself. Sean had to leave her alone with Flash for just a second to run into the other room. He shouted to her, “How’s Flash doing, honey!?”.

Her haphazard response:

“He’s still alive, Daddy!”

The exercise ball is intended for….wait for it…..exercise. I suppose he is getting exercise when he is scrambling to get somewhere, like OUT, while she holds it and colors in her coloring book, does a puzzle, or watches a movie.

In case you couldn’t see him before. Here’s his head shot, or profile, or whatever.

“1.21 gigawatts!” I bet Flash would really enjoy watching “Back to the Future” from solitary. I mean, from his exercise ball.

Flash could stand a little bit of a makeover. I wonder if I can find some gold chains, Mr. T style, that would fit around his little neck. Might help his self-esteem.

It’s not fun for Flash unless he has NO WAY OUT of anything, ever.

HB is a gentle giant.

“HE’S FLYYYYINNNGGGGGGGG, MOMMY!!!”

Ahhh, playtime is over and he’s back in the Clink. Erin will stand there and watch him until we drag her away. Bye, Flash!! See you in few, when Erin pleads with us to “pet” you again!

Of Hamsters and Honey Badgers

It finally happened.  After 364 days of grueling anticipation, my son finally celebrated his 10th birthday! He found out last month, by accident, that he was going to get a hamster from my Mom and Dad. He begged us all to let him just get it “early”, but we all stuck to our guns. The actual word “hamster” was banned in our house, lest this year’s entire birthday be canceled. Oh yes, it went to that level. So when my Dad left work early to drive he, my Mom, and Dylan to the pet store yesterday to pick out the lucky gal or guy, I was most excited that I didn’t have to almost cancel his 10th birthday anymore.  Dylan came home with “Flash“, the newest male member of our family….and the most galvanizing creature to Erin, the Honey Badger.

Let me interject a bit about our track record with pets. (Not dogs, we have a good track record with those.)

When it comes to amphibians, we are 0-2. (Flash may stand a chance by default, just because he is NOT an amphibian. This is what we are banking on, anyway.) First there was Robbie, the turtle. Oh, how I loved Robbie. I just couldn’t snuggle with him and kiss him. One must assume all turtles have salmonella. So, from the moment we rescued him from the giant water tank at the surf store in Myrtle Beach, I was adamant that no one touch him. Poor Robbie. What a lonely life he led.  He grew and grew. He played Hide ‘n Seek a few times, slipping out of his tank somehow, once hiding under my bed and another time hiding in Dylan’s pajama drawer. Luckily, we always found him and scrubbed ourselves ridiculously clean afterwards. Sean was in charge of cleaning out the tank, and I was in charge of asking him incessantly if he touched anything that may have touched Robbie that may have touched the tank, etc, etc. Finally, we grew weary of the ritual. To be honest, I think I’m the only one that *really* liked (ok, loved) Robbie. Sean had to talk me into reality, and I reluctantly agreed. He then pitched a pretty impressive, yet subtle, plea to Dylan: We raised Robbie from birth (practically) and now, he was a grown man (the turtle, not Dylan). It was time for us to do the right thing: Set him free. We’re keepin’ the man (turtle) down. We decided, as a family, the time to respectfully part ways would be on our way to Florida for summer vacation. I envisioned setting Robbie free somewhere along the backwoods of Alabama, where there was plenty of green, lush forest and rolling, clean waters. My husband envisioned gently tossing him out the window. I can’t confirm this; it’s just a hunch. Like any turtle on a road trip, Robbie was in a Tupperware container on the floor of the van, practically riding shotgun, not quite riding bitch. It was pretty small and he couldn’t quite see out of it, compared to his vast, glass tank that he called home most of his life. Unexpectedly, it started to smell really, really bad. Then, it started to smell really, really, really, REALLY, bad. Robbie was in his own urine and feces. We were in the McDonald’s drive thru, somewhere in Alabama, when it became….an issue. Sean and I looked at each other and silently said, “It’s time”.  There was an apartment building nearby, some vacant stores, a dumpster, some dirty water, and a patch of about 10 trees. We looked at each other and nodded. It was perfect. To Dylan, “Hey buddy, this looks like a GREAT place for Robbie. I think he’s really wanting to strike out on his own.” Dylan wasn’t emotionally prepared for this to be “the moment” to let Robbie free, but the odor in the van was unbearable. It was definitely time. Dylan put on a brave face and I let Sean handle this one. (You’re welcome, Sean.) They meandered down to the trees: Sean, Dylan, Robbie. I saw them let Robbie go, and then they were out of my view. They were gone several, long minutes. I had my phone in hand, ready to speed dial 911. It was just that kind of atmosphere. They finally came back to the car, and we all had a moment of silence. There was a creek back there, it turns out, and Robbie leaped for joy. Strike out on his own, he damn well did. We wish him lots of love wherever he is (heaven) at this moment. Present or future, may you always R.I.P., Robbie.

And then there was Tony, the Toad. We found him in our yard. We set him up in a similar pad to that of Robbie. They were neighbors on Dylan’s dresser, back in the gold ol’ days. I sure did like Tony. We all did. That’s what makes this whole situation so sad. Tony ate live crickets. So, you can imagine what a pain in the ass it was to head to the pet store on a regular basis to buy live crickets. Well, one time we forgot. Just that one time. That’s all I can say about Tony because the rest is Top Secret. As far as YOU, or Dylan, or anyone else is concerned, Tony ran away. And, we know this, because there was a recent Tony sighting in our yard, and we reassured Dylan that Tony was just checking in to show what a grand life he was living and that he was relaying to him how super happy he was/is.

So, now there’s Flash. As I said, Flash has A LOT going for him – he’s not a frog or a turtle! But, I do foresee a very small (3 feet, to be exact) threat. I’ll just come right out and say it: Repeated exposure to the Honey Badger COULD possibly result in peril. Her face constantly pressed up against his cage should be enough to frighten the living daylights out of him. Or, it could be the way that she talks about wanting to hold him non-stop. When she does get to hold him, she “opposite of gently” handles him so that his eyes almost pop out, despite our numerous attempts to help her be careful. Just like Lennie, she has all the best intentions. She LOVES Flash!! She thinks about him day and night and every moment in between! She has been restricted from her brother’s room unless he is in there, or  an adult. We found her in there all by herself today and it was a very, very scary moment. Oh, how she loves Flash. SHE LOVES THE SHIT OUTTA HIM!!!!!!!! Quite literally. But, we are teaching her that you can love from afar. Like the examples below! I will leave you with those, and our very sincere reassurance that we are doing everything possible to save Flash’s life every moment of every day! 🙂

“Flash” is in safe hands for now. If Honey Badger’s eyes were open, you would notice glazed look.

This is an example of “loving Flash from afar”. Notice he is running down a flight stairs (one of Dylan’s skateboard toys). No hands needed! We can play with Flash without touching him!

Another example of loving and playing with Flash from afar. HB is literally trying SO HARD not to touch him. Ultimately, she fails.

She is swooning. She states she wants him to sleep in her bed.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE CAN’T BREATHE?”