Family Matters

Lil’ Murph & I want to tell our blogging friends that your visiting us means a great deal, and every comment has either made me think, smile, laugh, or ponder people’s circumstances and their characters as a result from comments left for us.

I say, “Us” because Murph is an integral part of this. I wouldn’t be doing this had he never entered my life. He often sits by the computer when I type, as seen HERE, and he looks at photos and he listens to what I say. I’ve no doubts that he realizes some amount of what is happening. And, when one of you wants me to give Murph a hug, or say, “Hello”, I absolutely do it.

We also want to give a gigantic “Thank you!” to our e-mail followers. You wanted more of what we’re doing, and took the time to enter your email info to receive updates. We are grateful to each and every one of you for supporting us in all the ways. This is our 200th post, and we certainly have received an unexpected amount of kindness!!


Lil’ Murph’s grandfather is living with us now, and he needs needs my help. My mom would be saddened to see what he is experiencing. Now, my life has changed indefinitely. For many years, I’ve not dedicated much time to myself – to do much of what I wish, and I reckon I have another excuse, rather, another reason – and an important one. And that’s okay. I chose this. My dad has been so wonderful to me and countless others his entire life.

I will not disclose what all is going on. I cannot repel the feeling of unfairness in life yet again. Two people have told me, regarding caring for Dad, that I am “…doing the Lord’s work”. Well, for a fleeting second, feeling the bitter bite of what seems unjust, I think to myself, “Oh, well that’s good, it appears He isn’t doing it, someone’s got to.” It’s labor of love. Not Jesus, not God, or any Gods are involved here. It’s life.

But, who am I, what do I know? Maybe this is all happening for a reason, perhaps a karmic reason or dharma, or it could be that a Universal Law is at work, maybe it’s fate. Then again, just maybe when Dad prayed, it was acknowledged by the Divine, and made so that he has me by his side later, for himself and/or me. Is it possible all the above apply, cannot they all be so – simultaneously? I don’t have much time to think on these things, it is what it is. So long as I can do this, he will never live in a nursing home, for a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into here.

I had originally mentioned in this post quite a bit about parting with Dad’s house, my old home. Memories there, what I did, like writing Heavy Metal band names on the closet wall, taking that face-plant in the middle of the street & so, so much more. As I was leaving with Dad to bring him to my house, memories danced rapidly into my mind as I locked that door behind me and drove out of the old hood.

What my folks did, are fondly thought of too, like my mom keeping guests up through 3 a.m. to play games at the table, not once, but constantly. These people knew what they were in for. Then, there’s my dad swinging 2 trouble-making men by their leather coats round and round until he had momentum to toss them acrossed the front yard! Some time apart, and as it turns out, they were brothers. Last name of Stump, & both were flung over the bush along the edge of the porch! Good times! Good times! But, I cut so many things out. One day I’d love to learn how to write a book, I’m sure I will include those things there.

Since Dad has been here, I try to keep him happy. He likes hearing Jimmy Swaggart, so that is playing quite a bit, especially since he cannot see well to read of the vast library. Well, lo and behold! I’m shocked to learn I like 2 of his songs. “Jesus Use Me” & “Jesus, just the mention” I did not expect this. At all.

Anyway, back to a point, you have not seen much of us, but I promise to deliver your ‘lizard fix’ with neat facts and Murph’s charming photos and updates when I can.
In the mean time, you’ll still get some cute photos until we get some new ones to you.

We apologize to you all who miss Murph. I hope I will do better to show our support and appreciation of you, and to better juggle many responsibilities. I attempt to never make a promise… because life happens, and intentions may or may not materialize.

I don’t want you to worry, Lil’ Murph is still receiving much love. He is under the lights in his enclosure a tad bit more than he would prefer, but still spending quality time with family, cuddling with me all night, receiving his occasional spa-time soaking, and enjoying the sun if the days are warm (ish) on the deck that absorbs, then radiates the sun’s heat.

Spa time
The decking is so warm on this mid-October day! The dark brown faux wood planks (that some genius installed on rotting wood) allow Murph to get sun when it otherwise is too chilly. We’re grateful for that, despite how we aptly dubbed the deck ‘the trampoline’ because it sags in the middle & we can make it bounce.

And, guess what!?! Wonderful, magickal Murph – who has won many of your hearts, and the hearts of others (including the neighbors that flank us and their families too), has finally got his Grandpa’s heart too!!

Dad met some neighbors. Murph came along. He still will not like their dog. He is happy to ride away.

It took around 15 years of showing Dad photos & videos of Copper and Murph, along with in-person perspectives, to try to convince Dad to see they are special! I suppose I wanted him to see why I love them so. We are, after all CONVERTING THE MASSES TO LOVE LIZARDS TOO…

D & M

I have often shown to him something I believe to be adorable, followed by “Is she cute yet, Dad?” or “Is he cute yet?” Always, he’d respond with a slow head-shaking, a partial “I just don’t see it.” smile, and a slowly murmmered “No.” He shrugged them off, responding by saying, “I’m glad they give you joy.” He didn’t know how sweet someone could be if they didn’t curl into his lap wearing fur – until now!!


He keeps calling Murph a “her”, but Murph isn’t offended. It’s not that big a deal.
He also refers to Murph as, “Your little creature”. “Would you like me to hold your little creature?” “Do you want to hold Murph, Dad?” “Well, okay, he says (while smiling).”

So, Dad now cares about his grandlizard. He holds him, breathes warm air on his back if Murph feels cold to him, AND KISSES HIM!!

Heart won!

Gypsy gets attention and free time out of her room to roam the house. She is hilarious! She has a knack for finding poor craftmanship left from previous owners, such as less than taut baseboards. She enjoys clawing out cracked grout between the kitchen tiles (because some genius didn’t install proper underlayment), and leaving behind a new, obvious gap that traps bell pepper seeds and the like.

Gypsy: Orphaned baby, beloved, funny family member, determined spirit, general craftscoon & big-bottomed beauty

The other day she discovered she could help to take up those self-sticking tiles (that some genius placed atop hardwood floors). Now we know they should come up rather easily when we change that room to our liking. We can only improve one room at a time. She will remain one step ahead, I suppose.

Gypsy: “Hey you guys, look, see what I’m messing with over here? “Ooh… let me run over here and tap that corner piece – don’t forget about that spot. And, check it out, did you know this flooring comes right up!?!”

Also, this sweet raccoon child is rebelling against her human mom (me). She hasn’t played with me or allowed me to kiss her cute nose for months. I am going through Gypsy withdrawals. She charges toward me when she thinks I may interfere with her plans in home exploration (or renovation) , but she doesn’t hurt me. She IS serious about my not messing with her, but she’s only bluffing about actually biting my toes.

She snarls or sighs when she hears my voice (wth?), but, it’s fine, she’s still a fuzzy wuzzy, bell-shaped princess with an amazing personality.

See… bell-shaped.

We’re still prioritizing the helping of anyone with questions about lizard care and assisting with any reptile adoption needs via the ‘Contact‘ page, so don’t hesitate to get ahold of us if you need help.

I want you to see how Lil’ Murph looks if he spends too much time in the presence of the neighbors’s tiny dog. He stiffens, makes fists, and his chin becomes black from stress or anger. He has actually hissed at her twice:

Murph likes his brother dog, but no other. It will take 10 + minutes for him to retain calmness & look like normal after the visit!!

Finally, regarding Murph’s brother…

His Royal Whineness

He’s cute. He’s sweet. He’s deaf. He’s dumb. He potties too much. He paces the new floor in the dining room (Gypsy helped with that) between the food dish and the living room, forever hoping chicken randomly appears in his dish. I tell him nothing has changed within the past 5 minutes in his world of food fantasy, but he can’t hear me. The continuous “Tippity-tap” sounds like he has 1000 clawed toes. I placed 2 rugs on the path just to catch a break from the ruckus.

I need to hold Murph to ease the anxiety of living with the dog! I adore dogs, but am not quite a ‘dog person’. I love him though.

Lil’ baby Murph would have eventually died from neglect and depression at his previous parent’s home. Gypsy was going to die if little baby her was left in the yard to fend for herself. The dog was given up by 2 sets of parents. And, my dad would be dead now if he remained alone an hours drive from me. I partially hope I encounter noone else to win my heart. It’s a full house, but it’s better than an empty one.

We hope all of you have been happy and doing well.

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renée

13 comments

  1. Good for you. It can be very challenging to take care of aging parents. Murph is looking good. My daughter said her beardy is a fancy one and not very friendly or easy to handle. She said if you would like him, you are welcome to have him. We would have to figure out how to get him to you.

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  2. Hi Sweetheart ❤️. I loved reading your blog this evening and I loved seeing the pictures! I love you all!

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  3. Thanks for confiding in us about your new experience caring for your dad. I moved in with my aged parents 4 months ago to care for them. I was available. It has been a huge blessing and a huge challenge, both. I guess blessings and challenges go together often. I absolutely believe God is helping me, and I absolutely believe God is letting me live my life the best I can. Both are true. Experience is the great teacher, and God does not spare us experience. I wish you, Murph, and Dad all the best.

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  4. Thank you. Murph is well, being my wonderful friend. I am honored that you two trust me to parent and love her Beardy. I simply don’t know how I could take on the responsibilities of caring for another. I’m certain I could turn the little sweety around & wish I could. It hurts to graciously decline. I also cannot travel with Dad, and I am not a fan of animals being mailed : ). I hope she understands, and you. I hope they develop a beautiful relationship, or atleast the baby is adopted by a patient, loving person who won’t give up.

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  5. Thank you for such a caring comment. Yes, and I’m so glad for all of you that you are there with them. True about those experiences. All the best to you and your family, and Amy & Sunshine too.

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  6. No problem. I just mentioned you had asked about her beardy, and she mentioned that you could have him if you wanted him. He gets good care, but he doesn’t like to be handled. What state are you in, if you don’t mind me asking?

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  7. “It’s a full house, but it’s better than an empty one.” Truer words could not be written!
    C.S.Lewis on The Four Loves: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

    You will be surprised at the end of all things just how much Jesus WAS involved, even when you were unaware. 😉 It is commendable and Biblical that you are caring for your Dad. See 1 Timothy 5:4-8.

    As for Swaggart, his music is good, but his life is a shame and his insistence on pastoring is very sad. He violates 1 Timothy 3:2; he is hardly above reproach and refused to submit to godly authorities when he failed; he became quarrelsome and loves his position and money too much.
    love and prayers,
    c.a.

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  8. Thank you so much for that. VulnerabilIty can be a chosen. You have shared more than one interesting quote by C.S. Lewis.
    I read again Timothy. I didn’t recall what’s written there. It can be easy to succumb to capital vices. Best to you and family.
    : )

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