WH Chronicle GHD 2020

February 2, 2020

Happy Groundhog Day!

Judging from all the media hype and commercialism around ‘the big game day’ it is really encouraging to see so many are finally embracing the true meaning of Groundhog Day with unbridled enthusiasm.   Go, Groundhogs!!

 As I contemplate which events of our whaleherd year would best be suited for the gentle eyes of our public, I must confess that an ever-growing state of criticism and controversy over written word gives me pause. 

Like, I would love to tell you about how our family fully embraces the esprit de corps of the Kansas City Chiefs, demonstrated through costumes and dancing…but that event is better left undocumented. Then there is celebrating our favorite country’s cuisine with our sombreros…but never mind about that.  I guess I shouldn’t even mention the theatrical reading of Uncle Remus…or even consider accepting large sums of money for writing the stories of my dear students in Tanzania.    

So, instead, I will share all of the year’s events that are completely race appropriate and benignly pleasing to the sensitivity readers:  Our family watched every episode of Pawn Stars on Netflix; we ate grapefruit; we used one Splenda in our decaf lattes; we bitched about pop-up ads; we answered inordinate amount of emails; we bought an Instant Pot, we used it a lot; we complained about pilled yoga pants; we researched every tiny purchase on Amazon; we hold accounts on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and Disney Plus; we whined about how natural deodorant is still not there yet; and we picked up dog poo (usually in the house and not outside).  Isn’t that all the American dream summed up in a doggie bag?

Not to forget, it is definitely a first world activity just to tell you about our life via white-man blog—and as much so for you to read it.  We tweet, chat, email, blog, text, post, etc.  So, it seems the time for backyard get-togethers, relaxing Sunday dinners has gone by the wayside cuz we’re too busy posting or preparing something within our digital worlds?   Maybe.  But, I digress from true blog format, where only upbeat, non-thought provoking, and attention-impaired accessibility is allowed.   

Annual American Family Checklist
Travel (professionally and vacationally)
Health re-evaluation
College audition hell
Grumpy teen
Won Lottery (in all of life’s most important categories)

In our health re-evaluation, the doctor encouraged us to eat organic and to eliminate processed foods.  Sounds easy enough, right?   But upon inspection, a bag of organic carrots costs more than a Big Mac.  And a head of organic cauliflower costs more than 5 items at Taco Bell.  So, in all seriousness, we have an incentive issue at play:  it is cheaper to eat poorly, suffer illness, and then let insurance pay for medications, than it is to join the gym and eat healthy, organic food.   But, as my dad always says, “You don’t want your money’s worth out of insurance.”  I need to take his advice more often, I think.

In our health revamp, I’ve also switched to organic deodorant and hairspray.  It was all fine and good until I confused the two.  I had sticky armpits and my hair didn’t sweat—only one of those outcomes is even slightly desirable.

Troop Roll Call:

Daryl is in the middle of college audition hell.  It is an expensive and an extremely grueling process for a program in Musical Theatre because of the high rate of rejection.  Most programs only take 4-10 ladies each year.    Keep your fingers crossed that she is happy with the final outcome and the impending financial doom doesn’t eliminate our Splenda Lattes. 

Sammy still works in the avian department at the aquarium.  He just adopted a new member of the family.  If she were human she’d be able to take care of us all in our old age, but rather the opposite.  I have trouble envisioning any American family that can truly offer a forever-home to a macaw.  What person has 75 years of a consistent life-style?  It seems like just 25 years would be a lot to ask.  It is as if these creatures live mythological lives blessing one generation to the next, like Santa Claus, or maybe, Krampus.   

Just like Daryl, Nathan is getting ready to graduate with his computer science degree.  When Tom asked him if he was interested in graduate school, he scoffed and said that route is only for those who want to teach or research. Whew—wouldn’t want that!

Hilde is working in Prague. Carolyn just released her first album.  Jamilly hasn’t called. Sophia had her baby.  Kaghondi is living with family in Minnesota while working as a pastor.  We love them all so much.


Guido runs from the bird.  Mooch runs from the bird.  Daryl runs from the bird.  Louwise sits in her cage and eats her foot.  They all strap their fannypacks on when it’s time to be mobile.

Introducing: Roxy.   Roxy is a magnificent Ruby Macaw—Sammy’s dream bird.  She was hand-raised and is very comfortable climbing on, riding on, nibbling on, and pooping on people.  She waddles around the house chasing the dog as if flying wasn’t invented.   Sam behaves like a new dad and tends Roxy’s every need.  They sleep together, shower together, eat together, study together, ride in the car together, and blow up aliens together. Both Sam and Roxy are amused that she can stick her tongue up Sammy’s nose almost a whole inch. Roxy also wakes him each morning by regurgitating on him.  A sign, that we read, is a show of birdy love. Ahhh…how sweet. 

Stay tuned for next year’s Groundhog Day edition:  “And then there were 3…”

“One of the most significant facts about humanity may finally be that we all begin with the natural equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end having lived only one.”  ~Clifford Geertz

“The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.” ~Robert Brault,

“The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth which it prevents you from achieving.”  ~Russell Green

“Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”   ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy about it all,

Roxy and Sam

Sam's new car!

Almost road worthy!

Our first minute driving in England. 

The second minute driving in England...


Sam took this one...

Darn Tourists

Castle visits: multiply this photo by 1000. 

What's a Welsh Duck Train?

Sam, again.

We met "Chewing Gum Man"  He paints gum discarded around London. 

Sav and Daryl have personalized gum on Millennium Bridge

Sam and a mangy pigeon. 

Where the Robin Williams' "Popeye" was filmed.

Croatian Beach, complete with snack-hunting donkey.

Wanna go to a German Spa? 

Nuf' said. 

Did we win the prize for best Louvre photo?

Sammy working at the dairy farm. 

All of his time at the London Zoo was here.  

Keep your fingers crossed for this one's theatrical pursuits!  

May your days be filled with love!

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