Wednesday, April 30, 2008


In one of my favorite movies of all time, Men In Black, the search was on for an alien galaxy and if it wasn't found the world would be blown up by said aliens. An ok premise for a movie but the cool fact that the galaxy in question was housed in a bell-like charm on a cat's collar was oh so inspiring. (The galaxy is on Orion's be... be... be... belt....)

The other morning after it had rained and I saw this fella on the sidewalk, I put him in Lillie's hand. I was inspired by the simplicity of the photo--what galaxy was he carrying, what knowledge would he impart, where was he going????

In the Dr Doolittle movie of long ago (the FIRST one, with Rex Harrison) the sea snail took him and his crew to Galapagos islands. How exciting--travelling inside a sea snail! For many years after I watched that movie I wanted nothing more than to learn to talk with the Animals and go to the Galapagos islands.

Was this guy carrying tourists from one place to another???

We found this caterpillar in the garden. I suppose it's easy to read all kinds of things into a moment like this--the evolution of a child into an adult; a girl into a woman; a caterpillar into a butterfly. Or just a kid with a worm!

What strikes me deeply about these photographs are my little girl's hands. I suppose they're so special because not only are they one of my children's, but, she is the youngest, the last one, the only girl.... sigh....

All mama's have secret special parts of babies that they love. My sister LOVES baby feet; other mama's love toes, lips, noses, eyebrows... I love baby hands. There is something in the fact that when they're born, you can look at your baby's hands and try and divine what they will encounter. You leave kisses in baby palms hoping that some magic will hold the sentiment right there in the middle and keep baby safe. (By the way, the best kid's book ever is The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Thanks Gayle!!)

As the baby grows into a toddler, pre-schooler, then elementary school aged, and older and older you watch those same hands grow larger; longer fingers, scrapes and nail losses, more mama kisses... and then you'll be out and about and see a sweet new baby and you pause and smile, remembering your own new babies. The next thing you know you're blocking an aisle in Target with a goofy grin on your face and perhaps a tear or two threatening to fall.

Here's my big boy's hands. We were at Lillie's cheer/Niles' football practice and he found a really big toad and luckily I had my camera. His hands are fully bigger than mine--and he's just 16! They've helped me with animal rescues, removing deceased animals from roads, held his sister so tenderly when she used to let him comfort her, shown his brother how to throw baseballs, taken apart more electronics that I am aware... and they have so many secrets.

Lucky I'm at home, otherwise I would be the one blocking the aisle in Target....

Friday, April 25, 2008

It was bound to happen

Yes, it was. Only I didn't think it would be so soon.

When Rocky hit a certain age, I was no longer his "One". He was walking past me following someone else and when I called out to him his ears twitched only a little and he kept walking, never missing a step. Everyone in the kitchen gasped and went silent. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. But I had been warned this would happen. Rocky was officially a Teen Ager. A typical one at that.

When Vinney came along, he mended my shattered heart and I again was a Mama Sheep caring for a perfect little white lambie. Hours upon hours have been spent with these two folowing me to pastures, on walks, and on short escape runs. I have kissed both of their pink noses and sweet faces and memorized their sweet individual scents. I have massaged limbs, extended and flexed joints, and cleaned snotty noses. I have hundreds of photographs of them.

I have been a very good Mama Sheep.

And yesterday it happened. Vinney walked through the clinic and I stepped into the hallway and he trotted to me. I invited him to join me in the room I was in and he gladly obliged me. He looked and sniffed around the room while I busied myself with baby birds. There is nothing better than having a lamb between your feet, leaning on one leg just a little, as you work. A co-worker walked in and called him to leave and he galloped out of the room. I called his name and he never slowed down--not even an ear twitch of recognition. My heart was shattered once again.

Until later in the afternoon when a new baby was brought in. A sweet 3 week old Boer baby goat, or kid. She was entirely unsure about what was going on and the chaos of getting her to the sanctuary obviously exhausted her. The women that brought her in said she was sickly and just frail. They thought she had deformities with both knees and that she was blind.

I put her on a blanket in the intake room, stood her on it, and just observed her. I got down on her level so she could see my face and not just my feet and be somewhat comforted. She was very aprehensive of the new environment but her eyes were bright. She wasn't overly warm or cold, she was just very scared.

From just observing, she looked fine.

And then I put my nose to hers and it was true love--at least for me. A new baby!!!