Grandma's word of the day: Local

Grandma's word of the day: Local

Today's word is... LOCAL

Definition of local (per Dictionary.com):

[loh-kuh l] adjective

1. pertaining to or characterized by place or position in space; spatial.

2. pertaining to, characteristic of, or restricted to a particular place or particular places.

3. pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country.

4. pertaining to or affecting a particular part or particular parts, as of a physical system or organism.

Local example:

A recent social media post shared...

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A plumber's daughter on shootings, guns, and mental illness

A plumber's daughter on shootings, guns, and mental illness

In the aftermath of the appalling loss of life in Florida on Valentine's Day, social media is once again abuzz with anger, outrage, sadness, stingers, zingers, and some seemingly common-sensical solutions (others very nonsensical and hate-filled) related to gun control, mental illness, and myriad other factors related to yet another WTF situation. 

Once again because nothing changed after the last mass shooting. Or the one before. Or the one before. Or the one before and before and before.

Most of the rhetoric and (justified) rantings seem...

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Grandma's Briefs named top site for grandparents by GRAND Magazine

Great news: Grandma's Briefs has been named one of 11 top websites for grandparents in GRAND Magazine's 2015 Top Blogs/Websites Awards!

grandparent blog

I'm honored and humbled to be included in the same category as many of the grandparent bloggers and websites I've adored for years and hoped to emulate—as a grandparent and as a provider of content highlighting the diversity and vibrancy of today's grandparents.

Congratulations to all my fellow grandparent writers, bloggers, and website publishers named in the article, which you can find here.

Though Grandma's Briefs won the designation, you—the Grandma's Briefs readers—reap the reward by way of a free subscription to GRAND Magazine (a $19.95 value)!

GRAND magazine sept 2015

How to get your free subscription to GRAND Magazine: Simply click on this link to sign up for your free 12-month subscription. I look forward to reading it along with you, hearing your thoughts on the grandparenting features we both will learn from, be inspired by.

A sincere thanks to the editors of GRAND Magazine for the honor and the gift. Even bigger thanks go out to all of you—those who visit my site, read my ramblings, comment on my musings.

Thank you for making Grandma's Briefs part of your grandparent experience!

Compassion trumps fluff plus GRAND Social No. 117 link party

Compassion trumps fluff

I originally planned to kick off today's post with some happy,fluffy stuff. For instance, pointing out that my return to publishing a Saturday Movie Review was quite well received, so much so that even Oprah read my thoughts on THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY... and tweeted to me after reading.

grand social link party

But then compassion...

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Blessing the Boats, plus the GRAND Social

Like much of the country, I'm still at a loss for meaningful words regarding the unimaginable, horrific events of Friday. We all deal with crisis in different ways but I personally hope to come up with words that focus on love, compassion, comfort, and hope versus the, yes, immensely important, yet so very polarizing matters that ignited heated conversations—some sadly vitriolic, others downright idiotic finger-pointing diatribes—immediately upon news of the tragedy.

I've not yet come up with such words.

I did, though, come across the following poem and found a small degree of comfort in the words of the poet, so I wanted to share them here.

Blessing the Boats by Lucille Clifton

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

With holiday prep in its final days plus all else that's going on, I sincerely appreciate you joining me for the GRAND Social. One note before today's link party: As next Monday is Christmas Eve, there will not be a GRAND Social next week but will return December 31.

How it works:

  • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog specifically about grandparenting, but you must be a grandparent who blogs.
  • Posts shared can be an old one or a recent one, your choice. I like to link up to older posts that current readers likely haven't seen.
  • To link up, copy the direct link to the specific post you want to share, not the link to your blog's home page. Then click the blue "Click here to enter" text below and follow the directions to add your post to the list.
  • You can add up to three posts, but no duplicates, please, and none you have promoted on a previous GRAND Social linky.
  • No contests, giveaways, or Etsy sites.
  • Adding a mention at the bottom of your linked posts, such as This post has been linked to the GRAND Social linky, is appreciated. Or, you can post the GRAND Social button using the following code:

Grandma’sBriefs.com

<a href="/" target="_blank"><img src="http://grandmasbriefs.squarespace.com/storage/GRANDsocialbutton.jpg " alt="Grandma’sBriefs.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>

 

  • The GRAND Social linky is open for new posts through Wednesday evening, so please come back to see those added after your first visit.
  • If you're not a blogger, you have the pleasure of being a reader. All bloggers who link up would be honored to have you click, visit, read and comment.

READERS and PARTICIPATING BLOGGERS: Please visit the posts others have linked to by clicking on the thumbnail photos. Comments are always appreciated by the bloggers whose links you visit, even if it's simply "Hey, stopping by from GRAND Social."

Thank you for participating in the GRAND Social grandparent linky!


Sense, bright sides, and days when neither exist

The ever-so-courageous lion.Two things you may or may not know about me:

1. I like things to makes sense.

2. I like to look on the bright side.

Yesterday I struggled with news that made no sense, provided no bright side.

And I don't like that.

The past few months, my state has seen too many events that make the news, things that make no sense and have no bright side. The Waldo Canyon fire. The Aurora shootings. The heartbreaking story of Jessica Ridgeway.

We humans are born with a courageous spirit, one we're meant to put to good use throughout our lives to accomplish things great and small. I firmly believe that—despite the personally frustrating fact I lack courage far more often than not.

Those unfortunate events of late, though, had nothing to do with courage and everything to do with, well, with things happening for no good reason, making no sense.

Like most folks, I prefer stories of courage, in the news and otherwise. Retellings of how every single day millions of people beat a fatal illness, accomplish an incredible feat, overcome harrowing challenges, come to terms with odds no one ever expected to face, make a difference in personal worlds or the world at large.

The most recent example is the oh so courageous—some might even say crazy—Felix Baumgartner, who leapt from more than 24 miles high in the sky, landing safely to become the first man to reach supersonic speed without traveling in a jet or spacecraft.

What an extraordinary thing to do, and how incredible that he survived unscathed.

But then there are people who do completely average and ordinary things and don't fare so well.

Yesterday provided glaring evidence of such contrast.

Just after reading the newspaper account of Baumgartner's courage and derring do, I heard reports of an automobile accident a few miles from my home. A horrible affair in which two women—one a mother, the other a grandmother, pushing a 14-month-old in a stroller as they walked home after dropping off a total of five kids at school—were plowed down, killed by an SUV as the driver dashed to work or someplace apparently equally important to her.

It makes no sense. One man dares to perform a death-defying act and does exactly that—defies the sensible outcome, which would be death. Yet two women who likely never even considered death a possibility of their actions, that courage would be a requirement of their walking kids and grandkids to school, will never return home or to their loved ones again.

I get that bad things happen to good people all the time. That ordinary people doing ordinary things end up victims of unfortunate, unforseeable circumstances.

All the while a man jumps from far above the earth and falls into fame, good fortune, accolades and a forever place in history.

It makes no sense—the ordinary, the extraordinary, and how things turn out.

I don't begrudge Baumgartner his accomplishment of the truly awesome, incredible feat. I'm amazed he dared to jump from such heights, am inspired by him and his courage.

I just want things to make sense. More importantly, I want there to be a bright side for the families of those ordinary women who dared to cross the street yesterday morning, ending their lives and changing forever the life of the woman driver.

The baby, reportedly pulled by a witness from the mangled stroller, is in ICU but expected to survive. I suppose that could be considered the bright side.

I find it hard to wrap my head around that being a bright side, though, when that baby and a handful of other kiddos are left without a mother, a grandmother.

Perhaps it's at such times that our inherent courage is meant to kick into gear—to help us fearlessly accept that sometimes things simply make no sense, that sometimes there is no bright side.

Thing is, as I mentioned above, I unfortunately lack courage more often than I'd like. Yesterday was one of those days. At least when it came to accepting nonsense, darkness, and the unimaginable heartbreak affecting—yet again—ordinary people doing ordinary things.

photo: stock.xchng/KevinMcG

Today's question:

Where do you find courage, for things large or small?

Good news and a happy dance

I don't know about you, but the continual bad news of this summer is taking a toll on my mind, mood, and disposition. While I'm far from wanting to play Pollyanna, I have been craving some news that warms my heart rather than hurts it.

With that in mind, here are six happier bits of news I've been thankful for the last few days—followed by a happy dance, courtesy of Bubby:

The Olympics. When in the mood for uplifting and inspiring, nothing tops the stories of the young women and men doing what they do best and going for the gold. There's not just one good story associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics, there are hundreds, if not more. And the Opening Ceremony this evening will undoubtedly lift spirits, warm hearts—and, if you're anything like me, elicit a few tears, as well.

Miracles. There's so, so much horror and heartbreak associated with the Aurora movie-theater massacre that took place just 70 miles up the road from me; it's often just too much for me to watch, read, think about, talk about. But the incredible story of Petra Anderson, the young musician who was shot in the head but won't suffer brain damage because the bullet hit her at exactly the point of a minimal and previously undetected brain defect is absolutely worth a smile. And a fist pump. Truly miraculous.

Tickets to ride. When my grandsons left my house to return home a few weeks ago, we had no plans to visit again, which is unusual. Since Bubby's birth, there's been virtually no visit that ended without plans in the works for the next gathering—until this last time. Budgets are tight, schedules are packed, and as far as the eye could see on the calendar, even into 2013, it didn't appear I'd get any time with my boys. The other night, Jim said, "What the heck—just book it!" I now hold tickets for Jim and me to fly to see Bubby and Mac in October. THAT, to me, is great news!

Bear watching. Sure, there are lots of animal videos online to take your mind off the serious and sad stuff, but when I read of this one in the paper, it made me smile and head for the computer. Just this past week, news was that Explore.org recently started live streaming footage from the high-definition webcams they set up along Alaska's Brooks River in Katmai National Park. Now folks everywhere can watch the annual rite of hundreds of black bears feasting from the largest Sockeye salmon run in the world. It's grand diversion of a different sort, so refreshing and engaging—and thrilling when you see a catch. This good news is worth sharing with the grandkids, too, who will get a kick out of the imposing bears patiently awaiting fish to come their way. (Hint: It seems to stream better when choosing the "pop-out" option.)

More streaming video. Like the aforementioned plane tickets, this one is more of a personal bit of good news. Sort of. Though I'm willing to bet someone out there is just as happy about this good news as I am. You see, Jim and I have become addicted to the (yes, rather violent) series, Breaking Bad. We've gone through the entire first four seasons in just the last couple months. Wednesday night we stayed up late and watched the final four episodes available on Netflix, then lamented being in limbo waiting for the fifth season—which started two weeks ago—to come out on DVD or be available on Netflix. We don't have cable, thus no AMC television channel on which the series airs. Then, lo and behold, I checked AMC online yesterday and, YES! Full episodes of the current season are streamed online. Very good news indeed! At least for me and Jim—and any other non-cable subscriber who can't get enough of Walt and Jesse.

Snow. Yes, I said that word again. On the very same day that I posted about snow, it appeared—in July, mind you—on Pikes Peak! Imagine that. Per the comments on that post, it's clear many of you would not consider the arrival of snow good news. But as hot and dry (and flammable and uncomfortable) as it's been the last few months where I live, news of moisture—of snow!—on the mountain overlooking my city was very good, refreshing, and smile-worthy news to me.

And now, for the promised happy dance from Bubby:

Today's question:

What recent good news—personal or public—elicited from you a happy dance?

This post linked to the Saturday Sharefest.

Black feet, black bears, and getting back to normal

Last week was a week I will never forget. A week so surreal, a week so not my normal.

My normal is as quiet as I want it to be, with time to do what I want, what I need, with all of that time punctuated with varying degrees of missing my grandsons.

Not last week, though. Last week my grandsons were at my house, and I was their primary caretaker. The house was blissfully loud—interspersed with occasional loud moments not so blissful, too, I must admit. I had little time to do what I needed for myself, but also no time to miss my grandsons, for they were by my side while their mom and dad attended a conference nearby. Time with Bubby and Mac was the very best part of my not-normal week.

My normal is relatively mild in terms of temperatures. Not so last week. Triple-digit heat, record heat, historically high heat literally never before felt in Colorado Springs marked the temperature gauge in unprecedented fashion. Day after day after day. It’s just heat, some might say. Stay in the house and turn on the air. It's no big deal. In a house—in my house—that has no air conditioning, though, it is a big deal. It’s hot. It’s hell. A hell I didn't want to deal with myself, much less impose upon my grandsons.

And then, well, then there was the Waldo Canyon Fire. The horrific part of the week. The heartbreaking part. The surreal part.

Tuesday evening rush hour, driving with my grandsonsSurreal in that on the west side of my city, hillsides, landmarks, homes were burning. People—families—were evacuated from their homes. Smoke and ash filled the sky, reaching as far as the city’s east side, my side.

Surreal in that every local television station went to 24/7 coverage of the disaster, the devastation. While my grandsons played nearby, I tried to watch. When they slept at night, Jim and I did watch, far into the night, especially on the most horrific day, on Tuesday.

Surreal in that I continually, obsessively checked Facebook, Twitter, email for news on friends and family, their safety and their homes. That I regularly received reports and texts from Megan and Preston as they tried—yet often failed—to enjoy their mountaintop conference and festivities while homes and Megan’s hometown burned within clear and heartbreaking view.

Surreal in that our health department warned residents to stay indoors, with windows shut and air-conditioning on, so as to not breathe in the ash and the soot. Having no air conditioning, we opted for taking the boys to various indoor play areas. We did our best each day to have a good time with them while the west side of our city burned. At night we wrestled with choosing between opening windows to let in cooler air to lower the hellish temps in the boys’ upstairs rooms or keeping the windows closed to avoid the soot and ash we were warned to keep out of our homes, our respiratory systems. Especially respiratory systems with itsy bitsy lungs the likes of Baby Mac’s…or even Bubby’s.

Wednesday afternoon, heading to an indoor play placeSurreal in that access to my mom, my sister, attractions we’d planned to visit with the boys was shut down, impassable for the entire week, as fire raged and firefighters needed to protect the highway, use the highway. That shelters, like refugee camps, were set up around the city for evacuees. That the state governor, the United States president visited to view my city’s disaster and devastation firsthand, to offer support.

We watched each day and each night—as often as we could while still attending to and enjoying our grandsons—as not only local news but national broadcasts revealed burned areas that looked like war zones, yet were neighborhoods I had visited, places friends lived. We and the rest of the city anxiously watched news conferences at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day for updates on the status of the fire and evacuees, the successes of the firefighters.

All this while I and every other resident not in the line of the fire worried about, prayed about, cried about those who were.

All this while my grandsons visited and the hellish hot temperatures continued.

Even after the initial shock and awe of the fire and its horrific trail and toll, strange things, things so very not normal, continued. Expected things like subconsciously searching the sky for new plumes of smoke and endlessly tossing about with others the figures related to homes burned, evacuees remaining, fire containment percentages.

Bubby's soot-covered feetUnexpected things, too. Such as realizing that going barefoot around my house—which my grandsons and I usually do—resulted in black soles thanks to the soot and the ash coating my home despite the miles between the fire and us. Black soles that required me to scrub my grandsons’ little piggies at bath time and scrub my own big piggies before bedtime to remove the grime. And the unexpected sound of packs of coyotes howling as they roamed my neighborhood, of having a black bear amble down my street. The coyotes and the bear, along with elk spotted in the center of town and countless other wild and displaced animals searched for a home that, like the 350 homes of local human residents, burned, is gone.

So strange. So sad.

This week I’m still sad about the displaced animals, the displaced people, the burned homes and trails and landmarks. Yet, this week, I feel a little closer to normal. The air and sky are clear of smoke, the ash and soot have been cleaned from my house. My grandsons have gone home, television coverage of the fires has been reduced to a crawl at the bottom of the screen. The pass to my mom has re-opened. The fire moves ever closer to containment.

I do still scan the sky for new smoke and for rain that would lower the still-hot temps and dampen the still-burning fire. And I make sure to watch the evening news and check #WaldoCanyonFire on Twitter throughout the day. I also continue to be on the lookout for lost and frightened animals in my neighborhood. Overall, though, it’s been relatively easy for me to get back to normal.

I’m fortunate, blessed, and thankful. For many others in my city, getting back to normal hasn’t been so easy. My heart, my thoughts, my prayers go out to them—to those who are still reeling, who must build new homes and new lives, who have yet to create a new normal.

Today's question:

The Waldo Canyon Fire evacuees had mere hours, sometimes less, to gather personal belongings from their homes. What would you grab first—other than people and pets—in the event of evacuation?

Remake America: Getting through tough times together

Times are tough—for many of us, if not all of us. I must admit that the last couple of years have been the most economically difficult ones Jim and I have faced in our 30 years together, due to lost jobs, lost income, lost retirement funds. And we're far from being out of the woods yet.

We're definitely not alone. Yahoo's Remake America web series makes that abundantly clear—while providing hope for all of us. The Remake America weekly video series, an election year initiative that kicked off in March, follows the lives and challenges of six families as they strive to get back on track toward achieving the American dream. The tagline of the show is Real families, real challenges, your solutions as Yahoo! visitors are invited to participate and connect with the families by viewing the weekly episodes then posting comments—advice, opinions, encouragement—for the folks featured. Additionally, experts weigh in on the challenges of the chronicled families.

One great thing—at least as far as instilling hope for struggling grandparents like many of us here on Grandma's Briefs—is that one of the six stories on Remake America is that of grandparents Bill and Donna Clarke (above). The Clarkes face tough challenges similar to what other baby boomers may be currently working through.

For many years, Bill and Donna lived “the American dream.” They provided well for their three children, owned two homes, traveled the world. Then Bill suffered a stroke. He could no longer work the corporate position he'd held for years, so he and Donna decided to open their own hardware business. They used their retirement funds and now, thanks to the economy bringing their livelihood to the brink of collapse, Bill and Donna are struggling, to say the least. Difficult as it is facing home foreclosure and more, matters are made worse as their daughter Erin, a single mom of three-year-old twins who's featured along with them in "Remake America" episodes, faces losing her home as well.

The Clarkes were one of the families chosen for Remake America because their story was so impactful, says DeAndrà Harrison of DKC Public Relations, Marketing & Government Affairs, a representative for Remake America. After the tragedy of his stroke, "Bill had a second chance, instead of just saving his money and surviving, he put it all in a business that he had no idea would be successful. They have been struggling to hold on to that 'second chance' ever since."

You might think viewing Bill and Donna's struggles would be depressing, but the Clarkes express surprising hope and optimism. I had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Bill, and his responses show the same positive attitude he and his family exude in the Remake America episodes, despite the challenges they face and difficult choices they must make.

Grandma’s Briefs: In what ways has it been difficult for you to share your circumstances and challenges (hardships with business, foreclosure of home, etc) with strangers online?
Bill Clarke: It has not been difficult sharing our situation with strangers. Once we first made the decision to participate, we did not look back!

GB: What have been the positive outcomes of your experience with Remake America? What are some of the negative outcomes?
BC: The overall experience has been very positive. We would definitely do it again. Thanks to RA, our business really has a chance to survive. I feel overwhelmed with the support we have gotten from so many strangers. It's just great to see Americans helping Americans.  I am surprised at the communications I get about us being an inspiration to other small business owners. The only negative part is some of the comments, but we try to not let that bother us.

GB: How has your situation affected your time as a grandparent?
BC: I just don't have the time I wish I did to spend with my grandchildren. I just missed Erin's twins' birthday party. I hate that. I felt I missed a lot with my own kids because of my job, and here I go again!

GB: What do you hope your children and grandchildren learn from you documenting your challenges?

BC: I hope my grandchildren and others watching learn to keep praying, and keep swimming. With the help of God, and lots of hard work, anything is possible.

GB: Your daughter Erin is facing financial difficulties of her own and is also featured in Remake America episodes. How does it feel to be going through the tough times at the same time as your daughter?
BC: I hate not being able to help my daughter financially. It is very difficult watching her struggle, and know I can do little to help. I just have to trust in her heavenly father.

GB: What have you learned about yourselves—personally and as a couple—from your health and financial struggles as well as by being featured on Remake America that you would not have learned otherwise?
BC: I have learned what I already knew, that my wife is terrific. She has been through so much since my stroke. It has been so wonderful to have her at my side.

You can view the most recent Remake America episode featuring Bill and Donna Clarke HERE. Be sure to view previous episodes, too, to learn their story from the beginning. And don't hesitate to leave comments for Bill and Donna. They may be the grandparents being featured, but we're all going through these economic struggles together, and a little encouragement and hope goes a long way toward recovery for us all.

Remake America is part of Destination 2012, Yahoo! News’ yearlong elections program. Find out more and catch up episodes featuring the Clarkes as well as the stories of the five other families featured by visiting Remake America on Yahoo!

Photo credit: Anna Naphtali Photography

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Today's question:

What advice has best helped you get through difficult economic times, past or present?

10 things this grandma wants to know

1. How to get natural-looking, 100% gray coverage from home coloring products that promise exactly that. I've gone from brown with gray roots that have become trunks with far-reaching vines highlights to Bronco orange to not-so-orange in the past week trying to figure it out.

2. Why my grandsons seem to be sick so much more often than my daughters ever were. Why all kids nowadays seem to be sick so much more often than kids used to be.

3. What the point is of non-binding caucuses. If it makes no difference in the grand scheme of things, why waste so much time, money, effort?

4. How to succeed at growing anything in the mountain desert gardening zone in which I live. I'd like to know before I once again waste so much time, money, effort (and water!).

5. Why sometimes using the auto setting on my DSLR camera results in awesome photos and other times they look like <cuss>.

6. If a despicable, child-killing, poor excuse for a human being gets a free pass through the pearly gates simply because he asked for forgiveness in advance of his heinous act. Or in an email to his pastor. Or at the very last minute. Seriously.

7. Okay, so there are four time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific. If it's 9 p.m. in Eastern time zone, it's 8 p.m. in Central, 7 p.m. in Mountain, 6 p.m. in Pacific. So why do television programs advertised as being on at "9 p.m. Eastern/8 Central" play at 8 p.m. in the Mountain time zone?

8. I want to know what love is. I want you to show me. Okay, not really. I know that one, but how could I resist? (Resist what? you ask? Ummm...referring to this...from Foreigner, not Mariah.)

9. Why the marijuana legalization issue is an issue at all when (legal!) alcohol has ruined far more lives and killed far more people than marijuana ever will.

10. Why this silly little family won't move closer to Gramma: 

Well, I do know the answer to that one. And I respect it. But it can't hurt to ask again.

This post linked to Grandparent's Say It Saturday.

Today's question:

What do you want to know?

If you're unhappy and you know it clap your hands—or get a kangaroo?

I understand depression. I've been there, been on meds for that. And I have several folks near and dear to me who survive each day only because of the coping chemicals they've been prescribed, the antidepressants they rely on. It's a serious issue and this post is not meant to make light of that. At all.

That being said, though, I don't think owning a kangaroo is the answer to depression. Or if it is, I want one of my own for giggles and kicks (har har). Or maybe a wild animal of another sort, a koala or a panda—heck, maybe even an elephant—instead.

Seems a woman in Oklahoma swears by the depression-easing effects of her pet kangaroo. I'm not talking a stuffed Roo but a real, live (albeit partially paralyzed) romping, stomping marsupial. Well maybe not so romping and stomping considering his paralysis but the fact remains she has a freakin' kangaroo she swears keeps her happy.

According to several stories from the Associated Press last week, Christie Carr was encouraged by her therapist to volunteer at a local animal sanctuary to help ease her depression. Which is where she came to know and love Irwin, a kangaroo named after animal expert Steve Irwin. Seems Irwin crashed into a fence, suffering brain damage and becoming partially paralyzed, and kind-hearted Carr convinced the sanctuary folks to let her take home injured Irwin to care for him.

Care for him she did...and does. Carr dresses the one-year-old red kangaroo in little boy's clothing, feeds him meals of salad and snacks of Cheez-Its and Cheetos, and keeps him with her always, everywhere, including the grocery store. Carr feels so strongly about Irwin that she's willing to run from the law to continue keeping her comical kangaroo by her side.

When officials in her hometown began to question what will happen once Irwin is healed from his crash and becomes a potential public safety issue, Carr took offense and took to the road. More than once. When questions first arose, Carr packed up Irwin and headed to live with her parents, saying she no longer felt Irwin was safe from possibly nefarious officials. Then, when the heat was turned up in her parents' town, Carr set out for another town, one where Carr hopes to stay with a friend—with Irwin, too—until things are sussed out.

Irwin the kangaroo may have helped with Carr's depression, but I dare say her obsession with him has sent her racing full throttle into Looneyville.

There's hope for a happy ending, though, at least for Irwin and possibly for Carr. Irwin will surely eventually recover from his injuries and paralysis. At such time I imagine he'll let it be known he's grown tired of the little boy jeans with a hole cut for his tail, the diapers Carr keeps on him, the carseat he's made to sit in while on the road—or on the run—with his captor protector. How will Irwin express his distaste? With big, powerful kicks, I have no doubt, as all self-respecting kangaroos are wont to do. And maybe, just maybe, he'll kick some sense into the wacky woman who helped heal him and she'll reluctantly agree to set him free. Or at least return him to the sanctuary where their silly story began.

I certainly don't know the depths of Carr's depression, but there's no doubt her judgement is clearly clouded, for how could any rational person possibly think a kangaroo makes for a good therapy pet? Wouldn't it make more sense to get a cuddly kittent or an ever-adoring Labrador to ease the pain and isolation of the disease? I'd think either would be a more acceptable choice, providing purpose and affection yet requiring no running from the law. They'd require no kangaroo-size diaper changes, either—a huge plus, if you ask me. (Even just the idea of having to deal with that would be enough to totally depress me in the first place, negating any and all chuckles even the most comical of kangaroos could possibly offer.)

Nope, I don't get it. I don't get Carr's rationale for running from town to town with a kangaroo. No matter how depressed she might have been or continues to be. A kangaroo in diapers, for that matter. Come to think of it, I also don't get how you'd even diaper a kangaroo—especially considering the holes she had to cut in the tot-size trousers to accommodate Irwin's tail. Seems the diaper would need a hole, too, rendering the Pampers pointless. Like the rest of the story, it just doesn't make sense.

I'm crossing my fingers for Carr—and for Irwin—that somewhere, somehow, Carr makes sense of the mess she's made, that she heads on home, that she returns Irwin to his. Before things get ugly...or seriously Thelma and Louise like. Then, if she really feels she must, maybe Carr can adopt a different pet for therapeutic purposes. Maybe one that doesn't go against local zoning ordinances. More importantly, maybe one that requires a litter box instead of diapers.

Photo: stock.xchng

Today's question:

If money and logistics (and common sense) were no consideration, what wild animal would you choose to have and to hold as a therapy pet?