09th Nov2012

Things that Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head {Coffee Talk}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}1. Pregnancy tests aren’t just for solving those “Am I or aren’t I” riddles anymore. Apparently, pregnancy tests can diagnose testicular cancer. I know, right? How in the world do we know this? Well, some guy decided to take a pregnancy test as a joke and the dang thing came back positive! After posting the test online, some folks told old boy that he needed to go to the doctor’s and get checked out. Turns out he had a small testicular tumor. Duuude… You can look up all the medical jargon on your own but the quick story is that pregnancy tests detect the amount of the hormone beta human chorionic gonadotropin {hCG} in a woman’s urine. The hCG lebels help to determine how far alng a woman is in her pregnancy. This same hormone is present in males who have testicular cancer. Mind blown.

2. A mail carrier in Denver has been put on administrative leave for stepping around the body of a man who collapsed and died near his front door. In the mailman’s defense, it was around Halloween and he thought the body was a mannequin or some left over Halloween decorations. See, that’s why I don’t decorate my house for Halloween.

3. Speaking of dead bodies, Sherman Hemsley still hasn’t been buried. For three months, his body has been sitting in an El Paso funeral home while his former business manager, a long lost brother and a “cousin” fight over the actor’s estate. Seriously, people, y’all can’t show the man some respect and allow him to be buriedTriflin‘.

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

19th Sep2010

RIP: Elvis the Hamster

by Daenel
Elvis and Koda

Elvis and Koda

This has been a tough week for my children.  This morning, Elvis the Hamster passed away, eight days after we lost his friend, Koda the Hamster. Miss 13 and Miss 14 were concerned that Elvis not be alone when he took his final breath, so I sat with him when they couldn’t be there and Squeekerz, our Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mix, sat with him the rest of the time.

Elvis was definitely the friendlier of the two hamsters, he loved to be held and talked to.  In fact, if you walked past his cage, he would immediately stop whatever he was doing and run over to the door, look at you with his big black eyes and do everything possible to get your attention ~ including hanging from the top rungs of his cage.

The girls took his passing as well as can be expected.  We knew he was leaving us to join his friend Koda and we are happy to have had him for the brief time that he lived with us.

11th Sep2010

Koda’s Vigil

by Daenel

Koda playing on his wheel

Today Miss 14 came into the living room, her eyes brimming with tears, “Mom, something’s wrong with Koda!  He isn’t moving.”  I jumped up from the sofa and ran into her room, followed by my husband and, sure enough, there was Koda, lying on the floor of his cage.  Not moving.

My husband and I peered into the cage, breaths held, praying the hamster was still alive.  After a few minutes, I called it.  Koda hadn’t moved in the 5 minutes we stood staring at him.  Then we saw him inhale and exhale deeply.  That was all.  He didn’t move, he didn’t open his eyes, he just inhaled and exhaled very deeply…  We’ve called it twice in the last two hours and each time we see him take a deep breath.  We’ve decided to stop calling it.   So now we wait.

Poor Miss 14 is beside herself with grief.  She’s picked Koda up and talked to him.  She’s stroked his fur and begged him to stay with her.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your child watch her pet die.  Each of the kids has paraded into Miss 14’s room to peer at Koda and offer words of support and comfort.  Right now, I’m so very proud of them.

My hope is that he’s not suffering and that he will go gently.

17th Dec2009

To Love and Support in Times of Need

by Daenel

Lately there has been a lot of back and forth (and downright nastiness) on Twitter among mom bloggers about people who tweet during times of distress. To the best of my knowledge this bruhaha began with Penelope Trunk tweeting about her miscarriage during a business meeting and reached fever pitch with Shellie Ross tweeting about her son’s accident and subsequent death roughly half an hour after he fell into the family pool (the tweets have since been removed).

Some have criticized Ross for not being available to her son or being so infatuated with Twitter that she neglected her responsibilities, while others have defended Ross’s actions as a mother who was simply reaching out to a familar community for support.

I think what some are failing to see is that Twitter and other forms of social media offer an opportunity for support that would not otherwise exist. Many of these women have developed very real and substantial connections with their online friends, so tweeting about a tragedy is no different than picking up the phone and calling on a friend in a time of need. I know that if something tragic was to happen to me, I would reach out to everyone I know for support ~ especially if that tragedy was the loss of one of my children.

Questions have been raised about the timeline of Ross’s tweeting in proximity to the drowning and death of her son. Some felt she was tweeting when she should have been watching her son, others felt she was tweeting too soon after her son’s death….Really? While I can see how developing online relationships can absorb way too much time (we are all guilty of letting a ten minute peek morph into a two hour stint), I think we all need to step back and realize that each of us handles things differently.

We are supposed to be a community of mothers who support and love each other. While I’m not saying that neglect (if it really is neglect) deserves a hug and a pass, I am saying that we need to hit the pause button and remember that this is a mother who is grieving the loss of her son and, ultimately, that is all that matters.

I think the reason people were so upset about Penelope’s tweet is the lack of sentimentality attached to the tweet. The loss was stated so matter of factly ~ like she was announcing that she was drinking a cup of coffee during a board meeting. I wonder if her tweet would have been more acceptable had she displayed what people consider the appropriate amount of grief?

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