Monday, November 30, 2009

Urban Hiking

The Purple Slug wouldn't start.

That's really an understatement. Actually, it behaved as if I had the wrong key. I couldn't even turn the key. I tried turning the steering wheel and all the other permutations of buttons, wheels, gears, etc. No dice. It was the end of the line. The Purple Slug was in all out rebellion. Apparently 49 degrees, light rain, and a north wind constitute the end of the line.

So, I had to drive Whitey.

Whitey is a white, 1998, Mercury Mountaineer. With 178, 568 miles on him. He's seen some action to say the least. There's nothing wrong with Whitey except for the bouncy ride and the fact that my feet, no matter how I position the seat, never really touch the floor. But I can reach the pedals safely and usually rest my left foot on a low pocket in the driver side door. Still, it's a more active drive than the Slug where my feet touch and the seat feels like a recliner. Driving Whitey can feel like galloping on a horse sometimes. And it can kinda wear on you.

Hindsight being what it is and all that--20/20, you know--I should have worn my hiking boots.

I'm not kidding.

I dressed for a trip to the grocery store. Our local grocery's furthest spot is no more than 20 feet from the front door, so even if you have to park in the last spot, there's no way you'd have to be exposed to the elements very long. Switch gears to the modern college campus and you're looking at a half-mile hike minimum unless you're one of those football players with a little red handicapped tag.

Yes, yours truly is going back to school.

Apparently, some time back in 2000 (four years after I graduated) I was assigned a user ID and password at one of the local campuses when they introduced a new student records management system. Since I didn't know the ID and PSWD and since my last name had changed, I had to make a physical appearance in the admissions office to talk to the resident sys admin person.

As a sys admin person, you know this just irks me right down to my socks...having to make a 45 min drive to change a user ID and PSWD. I made it without rolling a single eyeball even once...even when she explained (painstakingly, I might add) how to use the web registration form. The reason was probably because her office was an oasis of warmth.

When I got to the University Center, I realized this was like the last week of classes before finals..which means everyone was actually there and probably even there studying. I had to circle with the other vultures for a parking spot in the last row of the last outlying lot. It wasn't even paved, just "surfaced" with a light gravel and a clay-like mud my grandfather always calls caliche. It was in the 40's, raining, and windy. I looked down at my non-windbreaking sweater and yoga pants and my Crocs and almost stayed in the car.

After waiting in the queue at the door and finally stating my case to the admissions folks twice, Lupe Gonsales' office looked and felt like home. To her credit, she got me fixed up quickly. I registered and went back out into the weather to hop in the queue. Again.

After reaching the admissions folks (again). I found out that in 2003, someone by the name of Anna Gustavo (who no longer works there and no one recalls) put a hold on my account pending an official transcript from another university. And...even though she no longer works there and that ruling has been one presently at the university supposedly has the power to reverse her hold.

(my aunt fanny)

So...I go home to request an official transcript. I hop on the Internet and cruise over to university #2's site. It proceeds to ask me for my "PeopleSoft" number.


So...I get on the phone. And my first question is "What in the heck is a PeopleSoft number?" I already's a number I don't have assigned to me when I wasn't there. And I was right.

So...I get in the car.

I got a little smarter. I exchanged my shoulder bag for a little backpack and grabbed a windbreaker and a scarf and some gloves. But didn't put on my boots. Big dummy. Or pack water. Bigger dummy.

I really thought parking at university #2 would be better because I could park in the visitor parking. Visitor parking used to be free. Emphasis on "used to be." When I arrived, I was totally disoriented because the university has sucked five more city blocks up into it's domain and what used to be parking is now a Welcome Center with parking on top (not for visitors) and two huge buildings are under construction with several others already open. After feeling old for a few seconds, then jealous about the fast food venues that are now open there (for only a few seconds), I realized the "visitor" parking was eight metered spots. I lucked out and got one. Paying for it was something else. Fortunately, I have a four-year-old. I just dug around in the cracks of his car seat and on the floor and found three quarters and I was set.

The walk was a little hike, not nearly like the morning's, but enough to make me seek out a fountain. They were giving away free plastic cups, so I helped myself to one and took a traveler to the front desk. The remainder of the hike constituted the entirety of the building. It was wild. I checked in at the front desk (SE corner of building) walked through a hallway to the NE corner and another to the NW corner where my name was on a screen next to the desk where they would wait on me. After about five minutes, they got my request processed (seriously, they could have done that over the phone) and it was a stair-climb up a couple flights then to the SW corner to pay the cashier (who mentioned that there was a hold on my account from a 2007 audit...apparently I forgot to pay a lab fee...ugh). Then down, around, and back out to my car (by way of the water fountain again).

I sat in the car and thought about the drive and wracked my brain for anything else I could do at 5pm in the downtown Houston area, but just couldn't come up with anything other than to get more gas (ugh). So...I voluntarily joined the masses heading north at a snail's pace...

...and made it home in time for my 4yo to tell me "I really miss you when you're not home, Mommy."

Man, I love that kid,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Strangely Content

Someone somewhere pointed out to me that peace was no big deal unless you could find it and hold on to it in the midst of chaos. Today, I would have to agree. Whole heartedly agree. People derive their peace from many places, but as a religious (perhaps faithful is a better word?) person I find my peace in God.

There are so many things that are happening around me that I don't understand. I may understand the forensics or the pathology, if you will, but the

I have so many "Why?" questions that burn through my soul and so far no answers to those. Why cancer? Why both grandparents at once? Why are we having trouble keeping our company afloat? Why does another one of my children need to have an incurable genetic disease? Why am I left virtually untouched? Why can my mother not get out of bed? Why can we not find an investor for prospects as good as these?

Many other things seem to be a matter of "When?" or "How long?" How long will my grandparents be with us? When do we give up on this company? How long until Squib really begins to feel the symptoms of his NF1? How long until it's just me and Dad and the kids kicking around in this house? Will both the kids be kicking around the house? How will I get through that? How will I get through that if its still just me on my own?

Those all seem to be depressing questions.

OK, they are depressing questions. But very real. A weaker person would not be able to admit to those questions. I don't dwell on them because they have no known answers until the situations actually present themselves. And I have a general knowledge of have I have made it so far...

If you have no faith or system of belief, then I can't imagine how you deal with them. As for me, they are merely a portion of the conversations I have with God. I ask Him honestly what is on my mind and heart and sometimes He answers and sometimes it seems that he doesn't. A lot of the time He says "What difference does it make?" That's just as good an answer as any other, but the human being in me rolls my eyes and yearns for a concrete number or specific answer. Perhaps there is none.

To this He usually adds, "Will the answers to those questions really change what you are doing right now or tomorrow or the next day?"

No, they won't.

Then, it always strikes me as bizarre that God operates on a need-to-know basis. The truth is, though, that the answers to all those questions, if I knew them, would drive me nuts. There's a reason we aren't able to know the future. I, for one, would be spending my days trying to prevent all those things from happening and eventually would drive myself into the ground in more ways than one. My gut-level knowledge is quite enough I think, thank you.

Instead, I can go about my life in the best way I know how and rest in the fact that God knows what is going on and is way more equipped to deal with my life than I am. There's where the peace comes. Granted, it's like being in the eye of the storm, but it is, nevertheless, peaceful there and I do not need to be moved from it. Occasionally, I step into the chaos of my own volition and learn this lesson AGAIN and have to drag my sopping wet, battered spirit into the eye to recover.

But it is remarkable that I find myself so strangely content. Even happy.

Enjoying the little things... taking Squib to the town Christmas lighting last night. Simple and beautiful. Mingling with friends everywhere and counting down until the lights flickered on and the square around the courthouse and the courthouse itself glowed with the beautiful clear lights of Christmas....

...or the way I feel when Beanstalk wraps his whole body--arms and legs--around me when he gives me a hug...

...even the way both boys like to sleep with one of my sweaters after I've worn it because it smells like Mommy and it comforts them...

...or the way Beanstalk waves his arms in the air and cheers, "Yay! Yay! Yay!" when he's heard a song he likes...

...or how Squib HAS to give me three kisses before he naps, sleeps, or leaves...

In the face of these supposedly "little" things, how could you doubt the care of a loving God who gives unexpected gifts like peace and contentment--regardless of any chaos you may see swirling about you?

Living off the "little" things,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Building Things and Growing Up

Building Things...
Scats are builders by nature. Clanpaw built this house we all live in as well as the house they lived in previously. When Attrition was little, Mom and Dad used to scavenge the dumpster behind Wal-Mart for broken electronics. They'd give them to Attrition and he'd fix them. Attrition always had cherry electronics (not jealous). When Squib got his first tool set, the first thing he did was disassemble the door knob (every Scat disassembles before they assemble--ugh).

Me? I build, too. Mostly lab equipment at first, but I just recently built this:

His name is Ren (and yes, there is a Stimpy for those of you who were still MTV devotees in the late eighties/early nineties). This is Ren's 1000 Watt power supply. Overkill, but the powers that be wanted higher wattage, so they got it. Here are more of Ren's guts:

He's "smart" so-to-speak and has LOTS of storage in his two 1T RAID drives (which are arrayed--THANK GOD FOR THAT! I'm tired of watching my workstation collapse and drag my data down with it! Despite the odd, tangled mess that are his insides, he's slick and my current fave of the two workstations. I was pretty proud after I finally got him together. Every single solitary piece was ordered separately and had to be installed and configured. Took me an entire day, but I LEARNED! Yay!
Not all our building/repair projects are so successful. The first collaboration between Attrition and myself was rather disastrous if you want to know the truth. He was driving an Isuzu trooper at the time and it needed a brake job. Soooo...we decided we were smart and could just get our hands on the book at the local O-Reilly's and fix them ourselves. And that is precisely what we did. The job
required bleeding the brake lines and though I cannot be sure, I think something went wrong during the process of replacing the brake fluid.

About twenty minutes after he left my driveway, he called to say that both rear wheels caught fire on the way to his house. Fortunately, he had a fire extinguisher in the car (it was a wedding gift) and was able to put out the fires. He limped it home (around the block) and had it towed and repaired, if I remember correctly.

I'd love to tell you that deterred us from repairing our own cars, but, well, no it hasn't. I think the next attempt will be tie-rods on my van. Wish us luck. Here's hoping the front wheels don't fall off after we try this...

Beanstalk is not much of a builder, but he's a definite appreciator of great architecture. And, like his mother he has a fascination with fountains. Who could blame him for that?

Squib is always building something. Yesterday it was an apartment complex:

He came up with it on his own. Then I asked where I was going to live and he came up with this:
This is my "retirement condo." Just don't ask me where he got that phrase. I certainly never taught him that. However, if he wants to build me a condo when I reach retirement age (which is probably when they bury me) I'll be glad to take it!
Growing Up

Watching your kids grow up can be awesome, hysterically funny, frustrating, and sometimes downright annihilating. Beanstalk lost his first tooth on Thanksgiving Day and I was reminded of all the pain that dang tooth caused him in the first place and almost cried. I'm sorta attached to those teeth. But the real hoot today goes, as usual, to SqB.

We only have showers, no bathtubs. So, I usually drag him in the shower with me 'cause he's too big for the sink and trying to bathe him from the sidelines is pointless. This morning, he looks at me very seriously and says: "Mommy? You don't got a wee-wee. But you gots TWO of THOSE (he points)!!" I'm thinking it's time for him to shower with his grandpa.

Who are these kids and where did they come from?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

They're On the Loose!!!

...running the proverbial streets! Deciding to "hang it all" and "be themselves" and their motto is: "Screw it!"

This has to have been one of the most stressful and hysterical set of three days in my experience. Dealing with cancer in the family is bad enough. Dealing with cancer in TWO members of the family seems really over the top.

But they're Scats. So...

Scat number one has decided on a "quiet" protest. It works like this. If he has to endure chemo, then he's not wearing his hearing aids. This means he's stone, cold deaf. So, if he wants to start a conversation, he does...right in the middle of the one you're already having. If he wants to watch a movie, he does, and turns the volume up all the way making the whole house unbearable even when I wear my hearing protection from the shooting range. It's only natural for a deaf person to speak at a level they can hear, so when he speaks, it's like E.F. Hutton...people listen...because they have to. If you've been sitting quietly and he sneaks up closely behind you (he's not one for personal space--another deaf characteristic) and begins speaking, you'll most likely levitate three feet before you can help yourself. He's always been ornery. It's been increasing with age. This is bringing it out in him in subtle, but distinct ways.

Scat number two made her turn to the cantankerous side by proclamation. I was seated with her in their private seating area when she announced that she had decided to "pout and gripe and moan." Anyone who knows her knows this is totally against her nature and, truly, she hasn't pouted, griped, or moaned by definition but she has made a definite turn to the cantankerous side. Her surgery came off without a hitch this Monday and it was my pleasure (and a hoot to boot) to sit with her on Tuesday. I was there with her for twenty minutes after her surgery during which she proclaimed the nasal oxygen canula "unnecessary" (it was replaced within the hour and accompanied by a pulse oximeter linked to her PCA pump. Not enough O2 and she got locked out of her little self-controlled pain medicine pump. Talk about putting a bug under her rug. I decided that was a good time to leave.
Day two: She announced that she "rather enjoyed having her meals brought to her on a regular basis without having to do any work." Uh oh. Rhythm (my aunt) and I were admonished to note this announcement. Great. Her surgeon came to see her and her first words were "Where have you been?!" I would think the answer obvious, but nevertheless she had no recollection of seeing him since her pre-op visit and there was no convincing her otherwise. He explained the effects of anesthesia and she very stubbornly informed him that THAT would NEVER happen to HER! He tucked in a very wide grin as he stared at his shoes. A sign had been placed on her door that said "Fall Hazard" and it came with a bracelet. She's a spry old lady and this was just an out-and-out insult. "These people!" "Uf!" So she announced she was ready to go home Wednesday morning. Doc said early Wednesday afternoon.
Day Three: She apparently didn't hear the doc 'cause she was rarin' to go, dressed and ready THIS MORNING. She even forced the nurse to go over all her release instructions. Well, all the ones she had. Called me and made me go to the pharmacy and get her medicine 'cause she'd be home SOON. So I went. And I came back. Then she called and informed me she wasn't going to wear her seat belt on the way home. Under any circumstances. I very politely told her to find another ride. They released her at 3 pm, much to her chagrin, she found her ride, came home, and after a thirty minute nap she has spent the entire evening ordering Scat One around the house like a slave. And THANK GOD SHE HAS!!!! They are currently "enjoying" the most deafening screening of Patch Adams ever shown. After which, yours truly will empty and measure her drains so she can go to sleep (with the peanut gallery telling me how to do it all along the way).

Tomorrow, Turkey Day and I, for one am thankful both GrandScats are still with us...but they sure are funny.

Never a Dull Moment!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

E-gads, What a Mop! And other stuff 'n' nonsense...

This is your hair on drugs....ha! No, seriously, this is just my hair on any normal day. Wild, weird, frizzy, and full-of-it. I liken it to an old witch wig I used to have when I played as a little girl. Admittedly the witch wig had quite a bit more grey at one point ( I could give that wig a run for it's money now). The wig also looked considerably less like it had been crammed in an electrical socket. Right now the hair defies my baseball cap and that is almost unbearable...dunno what we're gonna do about that unless I can get a bigger cap...

The hair is becoming famous around the house for it's tendency to grow out v. down. I have to endure this "little" stage before it gets really long and more manageable. Why anyone around here should be surprised by my shaggy lion hair (that's what SqB calls it) I really don't know...they ALL have the traditional Scat hair.
Afros in the 70's,
explosive bangs in the 80's, and, well, difficulties in the nineties. Believe me, I go through a lot of hair spray around here! I guess it should minimally concern me that my 4yo frequently says "Mommy, I really like your lion hair!" Great.

Grown long enough it eventually becomes somewhat tame and can even look nice v. scary. The

last time it looked nicer as opposed to scary, this pic was taken. And that's the length I'm shooting for....minus the bangs and with the natural curliness. I guess you could say I'm a third of the way to my
goal length. Yay!

So far, the chittlins have escaped the crazy hair, though they (ok, we) keep it cut close and theirs does have a mind of its own. Both boys have no less than two cowlicks and hair as thick as brush bristles. Should they ever go through a long-haired phase, their poor "do's" are going to levitate until they garner enough mass to weigh them down.

Speakin' of the chittlins, they are doin' rare form this week as they get ready for Thanksgiving.

Squib and I have been building killer train tracks!! Now that he has acquired more railroad track than any self respecting island (Thomas the Tank Engine is on the Island of Sodor) could possibly support

we have developed a new game which is, of course, to attempt to build a railway that consumes all the pieces. Here's my latest try at left. Not bad...two suspension bridges, one rotating bridge for boats to pass under, a vehicle crossing, "night night" sheds for the engines, and plenty of towers. For those of you not familiar with "towers," they are what the engines knock over. It's Squib's little addition to the world of Thomas the Tank Engine.

After a little scrap with the coffee table and three staples later, Beanstalk's noggin is now pronounced healed and he's rarin' to go. Surely you remember that thing I said about my kids bouncing...well...

Tomorrow is the big day for grandma's double mastectomy and we are all a little bit tense about that to say the least. She seems completely relaxed, but then she's, well, herself. The strongest woman I know. If she's scared, I know she's confided it totally in God and my Grandfather and completely made peace with whatever happens tomorrow. Plus, she still sleeps like a rock. The rest of us will all be taking a couple Benedryl, I guess.

My grandfather won't be able to go wait at the hospital because of his low immunity from chemo, so he'll wait here at the house with our pastor until word of the surgery reaches the house.

I will spend the day with the infected one. Oh, yes, Squib has the piggy flu and is at his Dad's house under quarantine. I'm going down to watch him ad get some cuddle time tomorrow while his Dad is at work. I miss the little snot-filled stinker.

Later Gators

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Best Things In Life

Yup, they're free!

OK, well, mostly free...

For starters, that little sliver of a crescent moon we had last night was gorgeous. Squib has become very interested in the moon lately and I seem to have caught his wonder and awe that there's a ball of rock orbiting our lovely planet. I'm starting to really enjoy looking at the moon again and even though it was just a sliver last night, you could still see varying colors in the reflected light.

I love the way Beanstalk sings along with all the music he hears! When the song ends, he throws his hands in the air and cries "Yay, yay, yay!" His grin breaks wide across his face and his extra-long stick-like arms wave around like crazy. He has no reservations. If he's happy about the music he'll respond whether he's in church, at playgroup, or at home watching a DVD. Total abandon.

Nothing beats that feeling I get when Squib totes his blanket over to where I'm sitting and says, "Momma, I want to sit in you lap." And he crawls up in my lap and nestles in and pulls his blanket up over the both of us and smooths it out and we sit and talk, read, or watch a DVD and talk about the movie. He can't just sit through a movie. He has to discuss whatever Thomas the Tank Engine or Handy Manny or Bob the Builder is doing and WHY??

Beanstalk loves to be a part of the game when any sport is being played. His varying disabilities keep him from actually playing, but he absolutely loves sitting on the sidelines cheering (for both teams) even though he'd rather be laying flat on his back on the fifty yard line watching the ball being passed over've never enjoyed watching a live game until you've watched one with Beanstalk.

Every night, Squib has a little ritual we have to go through at bedtime. I have to give kisses to all his little animals, etc. I sing to him, we say a little prayer, and then the most sacred part of all: three kisses. Not for him, but for me. He HAS to kiss me on the cheek, then my forehead, and then on my other cheek. If, for whatever reason, we don't do the kisses a very teary-eyed boy will come find me after a few minutes. I didn't teach him to do it. It was totally his idea. And I hope he keeps it up for years and years. Baby kisses keep me going (and yes, he will always be my baby!).

Exploring. Squib has the exploring bug that, I guess, comes with being a Scat. We all love to explore. Little towns, big towns, trails, hotels, churches, hospitals, caves you name it. The world, come to think of it. If there are three ways to get somewhere, we know about it. Wandering off in no particular direction is oddly alluring and in many ways comforting. It makes the world seem approachable and familiar. Now that I have children I can't believe how very far my parents used to let me wander the hills and valleys where we lived!! But I'm glad they did it. I felt free. I feel free. And tackling the world is just that much less disconcerting.

Last, and probably least, are the creature comforts....things that seem to make my days enjoyable and put a smile on my face...

...cherry Dr. Pepper (over ice w/straw). fave pair of blue jeans.
...Sunday lunch at the Hop with my brother, Attrition.
...listening to loud music via my iPhone/headphones while I work.
...rockin' out with Attrition drums and me singing my head off on Sunday a.m.'s Heck I even like it when we "try somethin'" and the wheels come off... fall weather that makes outdoor activities pleasant.
...watching movies.
...reading books (which I like to do WAY more than watch movies).
...and last, but not least, writing.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And Away We Go...

I seems these days we are always in the throes of some medical disaster: Hernias, Tetrasomy18p, Failure to Thrive, Fragile Bones, Profound Deafness (from birth), abnormally shaped Kidneys, bilateral Club Foot, Crohns Disease, Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Seisure, Diastolic Heart Disease, deafness (both Clanpaw's cancer, Baba's cancer, my mother's mixed "whatever", my Crohns disease, oldest son's Tetrasomy 18p, and now: Neurofibromatosis I in my younger son.

You may be asking what radioisotope I swallowed as a youngster, but as my chromosomes are normal in count(46 xx), (Beanstalk's are 47 xy, though) it's more likely I have damaged egg cells which originate from my mother (very long genetic discussion), but nevertheless, there's obviously something wrong and we are right back in the thick of it. Now, we'll be looking at everyone's Chromosome 17 for a few genes that seem to be giving my youngest a bit of trouble.

Yet another (possibly) de novo genetic disorder has struck the Scat family. Unbelievable.

So far, though, all Texas Childrens' Hospital is getting is an earful and an eyeful of Squib! And boy, is he full of it! We've been to the dermatology clinic (all over the clinic)...he met the criteria for NF I and we now have a bevy of tests ahead of us. And, boy, did he have a bevy of tests for them! NF2 and Schwannomitosis would not be good things, either, but we've got to test for everything.

Squib made it very clear from the start: "We came to play!!!" And there you have the resilient attitude of my little guy. This little inset of SqB shows him smiling and playing in his crib two days after open heart surgery (at three month). So, if you're gonna talk about your bouncer-backers Squib needs to be at the top of your list! We started off in our little exam room sitting by each other. Sqb in his gown me in my street clothes. Then the inspection began. The light nauseum. He messed with the blood pressure cuff, but turned a little pale when I offered to take his blood pressure (bad memories I guess).

Then the shredding began...yes...paper everywhere...which led to an exploration of the trash can. That whole trash-can thing went over REAL well with SqB's dad (my ex). He's a little, ummm, particular when it comes to trash.

He did NOT like the gown. I explained that it was to protect his privacy and he gave me one long "to heck with that!" look and tore it off. So by the time the dermatologist came around (with her flashing duck) to count spots and look at freckles he was streaking about and having a gay old time.

Me? I was not so carefree, because I was drowned in phone numbers and extensions of doctors that I needed to make secondary appointments with etc, etc, etc. I felt buried and overwhelmed at first but now it's just like doing a job with my son at stake. Minor detail...ha ha ha. Only NOT so ha ha.

Then the day became beautiful. We decided to forego all the traffic for a little play time. We ate spaghetti and meatballs and pizza in the Clinical Care Center with Andy (my ex) and played on the sky bridge between the CCC and Texas Children's Hospital West Building. Hide and go seek in a large temporarily abandoned medical building can be fun!!! We toured the fish tanks and played all over the equipment on the varying waiting areas of the CCC. And, in general explored the place as much as we could.

And BOY, do we ever like exploring! That loosened me up a lot and there are a lot of artistic things (cows on parade--who da thunk it), trains, playgrounds fountains, and beautiful gardens to see. If you happen to be there for any amount of time, such things bring hope and believe me (having lived there off and on for a few years) there are people there who need lots and lots of hope.

 Squib and I both like fountains, so I'm thinking of a riding/hiking route to take us past a lot of the gardens and fountains in the Texas Medical Center area for our next prolonged trip with a ride on the Metro rail so that SqB could get his jollies for having ridden on a "real" train.

The wee one was so wiped out that he never made it to Minute Maid park from 288 and MacGregor before he was seriously crashed out in his car seat and snoring to boot!

Thus begins our weekly pilgrimage to the Texas Medical Center. Ugh....but at least there are cool things to look at!

Gaining Some Perspective

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Something is going bump in the night around here! Actually, it's going bump and snorting a little. So far, not a night has passed in my traipsing back and forth from the office to the house that I haven't heard the large, snuffling noise behind the garage proper.

And like so many other noises--knocks and bangs of cars, etc.--I thought this would be just another thing I could never prove. I thought it would be a snuffling snort noise that would stop each time I brought someone out to hear it.

This time, though, it isn't.

Twice now, Attrition and Buddy have told me about the sounds coming from behind the garage and in what was our corn field. Sounds like those of a large animal.

I'm hoping it's the mate of Cosmo the pig (LOOOONG story) but we've been generating other scenarios. I have yet to go out and look for tracks or any other evidence of animal activity...I'll save that information for tomorrow.

Never a dull moment,