Children of the Earth

I have never thought of my dogs and cats and other animals, both pets and farm, to be my children.

It just wasn’t what they were to me.

That does not mean that they aren’t important to me. That does not mean that I don’t love them dearly.

But they are not my children.

Now I do have siblings that see their dogs and/or cats as their children. It was never strange to me that this could be. We each need different things as we are all different people. The reasons for why some of my siblings look at their pets and think, ‘this is my child,’ just as there are reasons where I don’t.

What I do see when I look at my cat, or my dogs is a companion that is a part of my family, but not my child. They are dearly loved and I am ever grateful for the years that we travel through life together. There have been times when they were watching over and taking care of me and just as many times where I was taking care of them. Both instances were also hand in hand with us having our own lives separate though we do take time to just sit and be with one another.

For are those not things that companions have with one another?

I had a friend ask me once if I understood why others would look at their pets and think ‘children.’ I answered that I understood in a way. One of my siblings and his wife are unable to have children. They have two little dogs and three cats and are parents to those five little furballs. These are the grandchildren they show to my mother when she goes to visit and these are the grandchildren that my mom greets and loves just the same.

I have a sister that has two fine human boys as well as several other children in the form of a little dog and several cats. She loves them all just as much as the others. She mourns when some of her children reach the ends of their natural life long before she does, but that pain doesn’t stop her from loving them just the same.

I have another sister who is single with no human children, but has an aging cat that she took in as her child when the cat was already half-way through the cat’s natural lifespan. For a short time we had that cat with us at the last house when my sister was staying at a place that didn’t allow pets. Said sister rejoiced when she got a new apartment because it meant she could live with her little daughter again.

Again, I have another sister (yes, my parents had eight kids, there’s a ton of us) who does not view her pets as children. She still loves them and mourns them when they reach the ends of their lives. She has always been the quickest of my siblings to bring home dogs and cats because those animals actually followed her home of their own free will. They are still considered members of her family, but they are not her children.

Family and friends come in all shapes and sizes and species. They come at different times in our lives. Many come as complete surprises while others were carefully planned, but they come all the same. But just as humans need different things at different times, the same is true of dogs and cats.

Each being on this planet is different, even, or maybe especially, those that are of the same species.

There are, after all, just as many stories out there about animals adopting orphaned young from a completely different species. (In fact, I have a pair of ducks that hatched and raised a pair of chickens who follow them everywhere, as well as a pair of dogs that have three young, two of which are cats while the third is their own actual blood offspring.)


What? – Random Ramblings

I keep coming across random posts online (in different places and I never remember to save those sources) about how people don’t really smirk or chuckle in real life and so you shouldn’t use those terms in writing (whether in original work or fanfiction.) Today I came across a post on Tumblr (where I am not a member, but like to randomly cruise through now and then for fun posts and random rants about history that all check out when I want to check for authenticity) that said,

those posts criticizing common writing patterns in fanfiction are so ******* harmful and they ruined me

so like yknow what??? People tell you to avoid “smirk” and “chuckle” as descriptors because no one does those things (???) but then when I need to use those words I have a ten minute crisis about how I’m a ****** writer. So heres my unwarranted writing advice: If you want your characters to smirk and chuckle ******* let them and don’t let anyone tell you that no one smirks or chuckles because I do both on a daily basis whenever I tell a ****** pun, bye  –rowdyravens

I sat there for a moment and remembered running into all of those posts from before that say not to use smirk or chuckle and was really confused. For the first time, I realized that people genuinely think that no one smirks or chuckles in real life. I had not realized this before and had thought that those previous posts were jokes (or I was really tired when I read them and didn’t really take in what they were saying.)

Because quite a few of my family members genuinely smirk all the time. My dad does it (though he won’t admit to it) and he chuckles a lot. My eldest nephew is a pro at smirking (which is just all kinds of unfair, because I’m one of the few in my family that can’t do that at all) and has the deepest chuckle that I have ever heard in my life. (Which, again, is saying something because both of my brothers have some of the, previously believed to be, lowest voices in my family and they chuckle more often than they laugh. (How my 15-year-old nephew went from soprano to bass in his vocals seemingly over night, I will never know. Seriously, that kid didn’t have a voice that cracked even a little bit! My niece’s voice cracked a little when it change from first soprano to first alto/second soprano! That gangly kid is something else…)

So I hadn’t realized before this moment that many people believe that smirking or chuckling is something that only exists in literature rather than in real life.

I had to even stop and share this with my nephew and he didn’t believe for a moment because he is either being a straight man or sitting there smirking like a little brat.

And the chuckling! Over 90% of my life hearing my dad when he’s doing some kind of laugh has been listening to him chuckle! He doesn’t really laugh, he just quietly chuckles.

This is just really throwing me for a loop!

I- I must go do something else before I expend all of today’s energy being confused and ranting at posts on my computer.

Moment in Time – Random Ramblings

So you know that one scene at the end of one of the Harry Potter books where Dumbledore tells everyone that the exams are cancelled and Hermione has a melt down because of it? I’ve had something like that happen to me before, so I kind of understand where she’s coming from.

Have you ever had a teacher detail a very important essay project that will be the largest part of your grade for a unit and let the whole class know that you have to use this very specific book as one of the sources, but that the only hard copy of it is available downtown at the university, but can’t be checked out because its one of the university’s course books? Everyone in your class (and the other periods that have that class too) have to use the book. (This was back before the internet had really taken off (and doesn’t that make me feel old) so you couldn’t really get another copy of a university’s textbook unless you went to that school. Keep in mind that we were also just teenagers who hadn’t really gone through most bookstores for university texts.) I don’t remember how long it was supposed to be or anything like that, but it seemed like a huge project to be given at the time.

We also had to have it done before the next big break in class.

Which was something like two weeks away (at most.)

Most of my class was hyperventilating or just staring at our teacher in horror.

Now me, it’s not that I’m particularly cool under pressure or anything like that, but I am used to having limited time to do something that seems pretty impossible or at least improbable. I’m used to chaos happening and having to make some kind of sense or even just a rough draft of a plan and then working with it like it’s never going to be more than a rough draft until I come across something that makes me have to change the plan.

So I’m sitting there thinking up ways this will work out because I’m already in after school classes downtown three times a week anyway, and it won’t be a problem with my mom if I head up to the university (which is also downtown) on the public transit on Fridays after the class to get info from the book. I’m rearranging in my head how to fit working on the essay itself and looking up other sources in the amount of time I have to work on it alongside the other extra classes that I’m taking (so that I can graduate. You try missing three quarters of your Junior year of high school because of health and still wanting to walk with your class and not take all the extra classes that you can. My Senior year of high school I was technically a student at three different high schools: the Electronic High School for my state (I don’t know if it’s still up and running or if it’s been absorbed by other programs by this point), my own high school that I went to for the day (and before school started for a before-school class there as well), and the high school downtown that did the after school class in conjunction with several other programs from throughout the county. I had three different student IDs that year.

Good times. Good times.

Anyways, I’ve got a pretty good plan on how to get this all done in my head when my teacher lets us know what the next unit will be.

It’s on Stress.

Let that sink in a moment.

The whole reason we were having to push this essay project was because we had run into timing problems and so had to fit a good month and a half worth of lessons into two weeks before the next unit we were supposed to be starting.

Which was about Stress.

The whole essay was nothing more than an example of the kinds of things we can and will run into all over the place once we leave high school (supposedly. I had been dealing with this kind of life for my entire life already. This was not a new thing for me, which was why I had a Plan. It was a good Plan!)

(breathes slowly)

Sorry. Even well over a decade later, I’m still easily worked up about this subject.

So my class, for the most part, let out this large sigh of relief when they realize they don’t have to fit this seemingly ridiculous project into their lives.

I screamed.


Or, well.


It was a very stressing moment to realize that I had put all of that work and rearranging and such in only to have it all be for nothing! I’m not exactly made of energy over here!

I’m quite honestly surprised that, other than my right arm spasm-ing and then freezing in a claw (which was painful, let me tell you) nothing worse happened.

Now imagine having to actually use said Plan for several weeks and then being told that the essay project (or exam) that you had been slaving away for so that your grade wouldn’t tank was then waved away with the assurance that it wasn’t needed, but that they hadn’t told you that until after all of the work that had gone into it.

So, yeah, I kind of sympathize with this fictional character having that happen to her.

I was just sitting on my bed and minding my own business while reading through a random fanfiction that hasn’t even updated in three years (doesn’t mean it won’t be. I have hope!) when that part of the story hit me and I had to pause and write this down. Mostly so it won’t vanish on me later and then stalk me whenever I’m trying to work on something else.

I have learned this.

That’s Who I Am – Thankful Thursday

I’ve realized that there is a lot in my life to be grateful for that I hadn’t thought about in a while. Things that I didn’t always have, opportunities that have come or passed or been taken or lost. There are too many to name in one post, because as soon as I hit ‘publish’ I will think of more. Every time.

Today, I will name one thing that I didn’t have that I have now for which I am grateful:


I am grateful for perspective and the ability to learn from the past, something that I lacked for a great deal of my life thus far.

There are times when I look back at who I was before and the decisions that I have made and I want to go back in time just so I can smack myself, but the truth is, I wouldn’t be who I was without those mistakes and screw ups.

I wouldn’t be me.

And though I regret things, I would not change them, because they are a part of who I am and who I have become.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday.

Delicious – One-Liner Wednesday

There comes a time in every person’s life where they have to decide if apple juice is better than alcohol.

This describes the one time my family took part in one of my mom’s friend’s Yule ceremonies. My younger brother and I convinced a couple of the adults to switch from alcohol to apple juice. (The apple juice had been supplied for my mom and her kids.)

Check out the original One-Liner Wednesday.

Slushy Floors

She was running late to class as she slammed the car door behind her and glanced back at her mom with a wave before frantically hurrying through the thick now towards the school in front of her. The sky is a dark gray, jut enough light to see with the help of the lights coming from the school building and the cars on the street. The snow i coming down thick and she’s careful as she hurries across the sidewalk that is incredibly icy despite the thick layer of road salt.

The teenager manages to not slip and tumble onto the cold ground outside of the school, but her luck runs out as soon as her booted feet hit the linoleum just past the rugs placed at every door in the building.

She isn’t even alone in the hall when her feet reach for the sky and she’s flat on her back with the wind knocked out of her.

“Are you all right?!”


Several other students rush over to make sure the downed teen hasn’t hurt herself with how hard she went down.

“I’m all right,” she rasps after a moment and sits up, reaching one hand back to check on her head. It’s only a little sore unlike her back which landed hard on her bag full of school supplies and homework and even a few books.

She doesn’t even get a chance to look around for the few text books that were in her hands instead of in her bag when she bursts out with laughter once realizing what just happened.

The others in the hall look at her like she’s lost her mind and one of them help pull the still laughing girl to her feet while another hands her the books she’d dropped and scattered in her fall.

“Are you sure? That looked like your head bounced there.”

The girl finally pushes her laughter down enough to speak, “Yeah, but my bag kept it from smacking too hard and I have a lot of practice with knowing how hard my head is. I must have looked hilarious when my feet slipped though!”

No one has any time to say anything else before the last bell rings and everyone quickly returns to getting to class.

Though everyone in the hall goes more slowly than they had before, reminded of the wet floors from the snow that’s been tracked throughout the over-populated school.

All last week it snowed and we were ecstatic, because we can really use the snow cap in the mountains and the runoff once spring comes. Yesterday it all changed into rain (cold rain, but still) and now there’s these giant puddles of water all over the place (my backyard looks like a pond). During the night it all froze, but once the sun came up, thing’s warmed up just enough to rain and create larger puddles out of the slowly melting ice, but it’s also just cold enough for it to be slushing instead of just raining every couple of hours.

(Slushing is when it’s raining and snowing at the same time, but it’s too slow to be sleet. I have no idea if it’s actually a real word or not, but it’s one my sister and I use all the time.)

I was thinking about how slippery it is outside when I remembered an incident from high school and had to share it.

Cracks Can Be Beautiful

“Families and old friendships will fracture.” —from Must Be This Tall To Ride

Pouring liquid gold into cracks to make the cracks beautiful and keep the functionality of the piece.

Before I know it’s come to pass
Reality closing in
Even as I let loose a gasp
All my moments lost
Kindling them with gold to shine