Thursday, January 13, 2011

Special Request

This is a response to the special request that Nicky left on my last post.  I will now write about the goats.

As many of you know, I spent the last year working for the state of Texas in a very rural area.  I had a lot of interesting experiences.  Many of these experiences I will not write about either because it would violate some privacy stuff or because it is just too exhausting to recount some of these things again.  The latter are the reasons that I am currently taking a mini hiatus from working.  I need some time to recharge.

I learned a lot about myself during this year.  Thanks to one of my co-workers, Aleida, I learned that I am what she refers to as a "shit-magnet."  (Please excuse my language here.)  According to Aleida, if there is a crisis out there somewhere, it will somehow find me.  I have found that she is right.  I also occasionally partially create some of my own crises.  But really that is a different story altogether.  I also learned that I was extremely fortunate as a child.  I always had food,clothing, and a place to live.  We almost always had electricity at my house.  For most of my childhood, I had two supportive, loving parents.  My parents did not do drugs.  My parents did not have criminal histories.  But these things are far from goats.  Now I shall get into the goats.

Well, before the goats, you have to know a little bit about the kind of work environment we had.  Really, I could have made a sitcom about it.  Sadly, I do not think that the rest of the world is ready for a sitcom that makes light of awful living situations and abuse.  We really are a group of rather sick individuals.  My office consisted of six women.  There was another office in a neighboring county that we often worked out of.  This office was much bigger.  The office where my supervisor is located is also bigger.  Of these six women, I went to the required three months of training with three of them: Nicky, Phyllis, and Robin.  Together with these three women, I learned the ins and outs of our trade.  We laughed together and occasionally cried together.  We mostly laughed.  In a job like ours, you have to laugh.  If you do not laugh, you will not last.

Ok...goats.  Well, goats and other various animals.  My first experience with weird animals on the job was when I was with my mentor and we were driving back to the office.  I was looking out of the window of her truck.  There were some cows, some horses, some zebras.  Zebras??!!??  This is a town with less people that went to my high school.  Many of these people live below the federal poverty line.  But hey, here's some zebras.  I told my mentor, but she didn't believe me.  I am pretty sure she swears to this day that I am a crazy person who hallucinates zebras.  But there were some zebras there.

With my mentor, I also saw a dog that could smile.  It was creepy.  We also had to stop in the middle of the main road in town to allow a shepherd to lead his goats across the road.  Seriously.  A far cry from the suburb i grew up in.  I must also be a goat-magnet.  This was only the beginning.  I next learned that goats are a lot like dogs.  I was out on a case with a no-nonsense, seasoned investigator.  She grew up in the area, so she was familiar with goats.  We were at a family's home.  I kept hearing a really strange noise from outside.  It sounded like an animal in pain.  When we left the home, the resident told us that her goat was upset because it had not been fed yet.  The goat was the one making the awful noise.  When we went outside, she went to the goat's pen and called its name.  The goat came running to its name and wagged its tail.  I looked on in amazement.  The other worker laughed at me and proceeded to tell everyone the story about how I, the city girl, did not know that goats behaved in this way.  When I told Nicky about this story, I was relieved to hear that she was pretty amazed too.  Phyllis, on the other hand, thought we were both a little off.  But she thinks that often.

A month or so later, I went out to another house.  As I was walking up to the house, I was met by a dog and a goat.  The goat sniffed me like she was a dog.  She wanted me to pet her.  It was weird.  The resident of the home assured me that she was not dangerous.  The resident also had two horses.  One of the horses was her dream horse: a beautiful gray mare.  The other horse was one that she and her family had rescued.  She told me that when they rescued the horse, they were told that they had to take the goat.  They were a packaged deal.  I like to believe that they were best friends.  The woman invited me into her home.  Well, she opened the door and told me to run in while she kept the goat out.  She told me that the goat believes it is a dog and feels that it should be let into the house.  She then told me to not be frightened, but the goat was going to knock on the door with its horns in an attempt to be let in.  Inside the house I was greeted by another strange sight.  Puppies.  You may say, that is not strange.  But you were not looking at the mother of the puppies.  The dog had three legs.  Maybe you do not feel that this is strange.  Just wait.

I called my mom later that day to tell her about the animals I had met.  When I finished telling her the story, she told me that she had read about these animals in the newspaper.  She told me that she had actually cut out the article and sent it to me because she thought I would enjoy it.  She told me that the news story was about two dogs and a goat.  One of the dogs had three legs and puppies.  The trio were all great friends.  They had been adopted as a packaged deal.  I was a little skeptical that these were the same three animals, but my mom assured me that there could not possibly be another trio quite like that.  I later received the newspaper story in the mail.  Believe it or not, there are at least two trios of dog, three-legged dog, and goat.  There was a picture included in the news story.  The three animals in the story were very different than the three I had met in real life.  Weird.

Soon after, on a particularly rainy day, I received a call from Nicky.  She told me that she was out going to various clients' homes.  She told me that she had just seen the strangest thing.  She told me that she saw a goat on a roof.  Basically this goat was preparing for the worst.  He obviously feared that the rain was going to result in some kind of flooding.  He just wanted to be prepared.  Later that week, while walking Yoshi, I saw a goat in a dog crate in the back of a pick up truck.  The truck was just sitting in the driveway of a home.  No one was out with the goat.  The goat was just chillin' in the crate.  I immediately took a picture and showed it to Nicky the next day.

I also met some interesting cows on my adventures.  I drove up to a home one day and was not extremely thrilled to find that there were cows in the front yard.  Cows may look really nice eating grass out in a field, but close up, cows are freaking huge.  Sometimes they have horns.  To make matters worse, Phyllis had recently been telling me stories about her almost getting killed by various charging cows and hogs.  I sat in my car for a bit and just watched the cows.  Then the strangest thing happened.  One of the cows tip-toed over the cattle guard.  Some of you may not know, but cattle guards are supposed to keep cows in the yard, but still allow one to drive in and out of the driveway without having to keep a gate closed all the time.  The guards consist of metal rods over a pit.  Cows don't walk over them.  Well, most cows.  These cows were like ballerinas.  They just tip-toed right over.  

Well, I believe that I have written enough.  Nicky, I miss you!  You should come visit.  Bring Bean!  Also, tell Phyllis and Charlene hi!  I miss them too.  And Cathy!  <3

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So...this is a blog

A friend suggested I start a blog.  I wondered if my life would be interesting enough to share.  She assured me that my life was interesting.  So, at least I will have one follower of my blog.  (love you Caitlin)

Here's some background info to get started.  I graduated from the University of Texas in December 2009.  I then went to work for the State of Texas.  I got married in June 2010 to my best friend, Lee.  Lee graduated from Texas A&M in December 2010.  We recently moved to Houston because Lee got a job.  When we moved, we left behind our roommate Kyle.  As a consolation, we got him a Lego AT-AT.  I think he was pretty happy about the exchange.

We also have a dog.  His name is Yoshi.  That should give you and indication of exactly how awesomely nerdy we are.  We named our dog after a Nintendo character.  Our favorite Nintendo character.  The character we fight over when playing Mario Party 8.  Yes, we are that cool.  Yoshi is like our child.  We proudly show pictures of Yoshi to people we meet.  We brag about how smart he is.  We take him to the park.  I even made him a birthday cake for his first birthday.  Which is no small feat.  I had to alter the ingredients because he is allergic to gluten.  Seriously.  I have a gluten-intolerant dog.

Our move to Houston has been mostly uneventful.  If one forgets about the cable and internet mishap, the furniture debacle, and that time that I ran into the pole holding up the carport.  All is resolved now.  We have cable and internet.  (Thank goodness.  We were actually having to spend time with each other.) We finally received all of our furniture, fully intact.  The pole is totally fine.  Well, mostly everything is resolved.  My car will need a new front bumper, a new passenger-side front fender, and a new headlight.  All from backing out of my parking spot at home.  Not that my car was really in that great of shape before the run-in with the pole.  It runs because a paper clip is jammed into the battery cable somewhere.

Anyway, we are still trying to get our heads wrapped around the fact that we live on our own in Houston.  We know next to nothing about this city.  From what we have gathered, Houston is the land of shopping malls and dentists.  Everywhere we turn there is another mall or a dentist office.  I have never seen so many dentist offices.  We live near at least three malls.  My favorite of these malls is the Memorial City Mall.  It treats Target like it was a department store.  Really.  There is a Target, and it opens up into the mall.  I have found heaven on earth. 

Stay tuned for future updates from the DeBooms.  Yeah, Boom.  Like the explosion.