Archive for August, 2010

The Post That is NOT About Toads

August 12th, 2010 at 8:05 pm » Comments (3)

Not because I am without relevant toad news, but because I just don’t want to discuss them. At all. Not the HUGE ones, and not the tiny ones that were spotted in the kitchen. Don’t want to talk about it. But I will say I love how Seth-4yr likes to talk enthusiastically about “our FOGS.”  There is no ‘r.’

The forecast here has been very “foggy.”

I wanted to take the kids to see my dad and stepmom. All summer. And waiting for Mike to be free wasn’t working, so I planned a weekend and said (with much love in my greenish eyes), “I’d love for you to join us, but we’ll go without you if we need to.”  And so it was. And at the last minute he decided he could come with us, if he flew out on the last day while we drove home. Yea!

This may be partly because there is a musical thing I want to go to. And the last time there was a musical thing I wanted to attend, I did – and then came home with a nasty hangover and a new appreciation for the concept of clean living and sobriety in every sense of the word. (and thank you, Willie Nelson.) Perhaps Mike thinks I need his supervision. Or maybe he just wants to go with me. I don’t know. I’m glad.

LaLa is also going to the musical thing in question. I just sent her a text and asked her what  she was planning to wear that night. I did not ask her what I should wear. I thought about it, but decided the first option was less Bratty Little Sister. So I went with the far more sophisticated ‘what are YOU wearing’ – perhaps implying that I’ve already decided what it is that i am wearing and her answer will have no bearing on my clothing choices. And partly that’s true because I’ve already packed – but I could unpack. And change my mind.

She’s my big sister. And far more stylish. And I don’t get out much. Can you tell?

I’m trying to change that. The not getting out much part. Trying to remember to Not Just Be A Mommy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I kinda forget about doing/planning non-mom stuff.  Thinking of musical things and then get butt out door to go. Planning trips, then getting butt out door. Going back to school. Then not getting butt out door because I’m trying to do it all online. Ha! No people! Love it. Planning a girl weekend with a friend, sweet talking free Southwest tickets out of Mike, and then actually going. (haven’t yet gotten butt out door for this one, but that’s because we haven’t yet picked a weekend and a destination.)

This life stuff might be pretty good. I’m kinda liking it.

Minus the fogs.

Toad Plague, Part 3

August 10th, 2010 at 11:14 am » Comments (9)

Toad Plague, Part 1

Toad Plague, Part 2

They are everywhere, these toads, as evidenced by the very existence of this third, Toad Plague installment. The other night I went out to work in a large flowerbed way at the back of the yard and had to be careful not to step on frogs EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. When I got out there, they were just running amok all in that flowerbed. Hopping, frolicking. Acting very toady.

A few of you had me greatly concerned that they might be getting too friendly out there and then there would be EVEN MORE of them. And you were right. There were tiny little toads out there, mixed in with the small, medium, and ‘okay, you’ve had too many flies’ sized ones.

One hopped right across the top of my flip-flopped foot. I screamed. I improved my vertical leap. And then I got really annoyed and started talking to them. Specifically, I wanted them to stay away from each other and not be too ‘friendly.’ There I was in the backyard whispering to a toad, “don’t get near that one. STAY AWAY from each other. NO TOUCHING EACH OTHER, little toadies. Shoo! You go that way, and YOU, Mr. Toad, YOU hop the other way.”  And this is a new low.

At one point I told one little toad to get away from me and stay away, or I’d go get Mike, and Mike’s a hunter who takes on animals of much bigger stature. And that was dumb. The toad was all, “uh, really? Mike’s the dude who gave us an aquarium to live in with our friends and let us touch each other when we wanted,  and sent YOU out to PetSmart for frog food  and then LET US GO in the flowerbed and thoughtfully turned on the sprinkler system for us? Sure, lady. Go get Mike. I like Mike.” Or maybe it was ‘ribbit.’ I don’t know.

When I wanted to come in the back door, after finally getting that flowerbed how I wanted it, I had to knock and wait for Mike. Not because the door was locked. But because there were toads lined up, ready for that door to open so that they could rush the entryway. Like they do ALL THE TIME NOW. They’re just ready and waiting to take over the house. Mike came and shooed them away.  I came inside and took a hot bath and scrubbed my foot that the toad had hopped on.

What I do know is that before there were 84+ frogs in the backyard and I was constantly yelling, WASH YOUR HANDS at the kids. And now there are like, ninety two millionish frogs in the backyard and I’m still yelling that and also chasing kids with hand sanitizer and making casual conversation and speaking empty threats at toads. And that can’t be good.  I think I’m trapped in a children’s book.

Need a Treadmill ASAP

August 9th, 2010 at 4:17 pm » Comments (9)

Just last night Mike and I acknowledged we really needed to tell the boys the latest news about their sister. We’ve put it off. It’s hard to explain. It hurts. It’s all so difficult, but always has been.  We put the kids to bed late last night, again delaying the conversation.

Today Ethan-10yr had relevant questions. The housekeeper had put some paperwork from Kim-16yr’s school in his room by mistake, and instead of asking us about it – about his sister- he’d kept it and tried to glean every last bit of meaning from words that held very little real meaning to begin with.  It was sad.

Kim-16yr has been gone to various treatment centers for more than 4 yrs. We never expected it to turn out that way. We thought we’d place her in the most capable and expert places possible and she would be helped and transformed and blessed, and we would then go on. Together.

Today I sat on the couch with Ethan-10yr and held him while he cried fat, wet tears all over my chest and I told him that wasn’t going to happen. Kim-16yr had visited in May. We were all thinking we were getting close to her coming here and maybe we were all ready. She went to a day of high school. I spent a lot of time with her – to see if I was ready. And, to my surprise, I was up for it. Ready to give it a try.

Something significant happened on that visit, though. She was mad at me  at the time- I had corrected her about something minor a few hours before. It had been matter of fact, and I’d moved on quickly- but it infuriated her to be mothered in that way by me of all people.

For hours, she visibly seethed. I deliberately ignored it. I was trying to mother her just as I would if she were here and living with us. And I certainly wouldn’t be swayed into reacting every time a 16yr old acted quietly angry – so I wouldn’t that day either. (hindsight: mistake)

I took her with me to pick up her brothers. We were walking in a hallway, her on my left and a little behind me. With her right foot turned completely outward from her body, she stomped down hard across the top of my left foot and held it there. It pulled hard at everything in my left foot, leg, and newly repaired left knee. Kim-16yr held her foot there, across the top of mine, and in so doing almost fell completely to the floor herself — but didn’t get off my foot.  I floundered, but didn’t fall, and looked at her – waiting for something, anything. She said, “oh, sorry,” and the stood up straight and  finally got off my foot.

After the boys were in bed that night, I told Mike about it. I’m not a ‘visual thinker’ at all. It didn’t yet occur to me how nearly physically impossible it was for that to have been an accident. And I didn’t want to think that. So I said something like, “hey, this is maybe nothing, but it was really really weird and she WAS mad, and I at least have to tell you about it, and I don’t want her to know this, but my whole leg and knee really hurts now.”

The rest of the visit went a bit downhill. She seemed greatly annoyed at my presence. Hostile, but in a quiet, familiar way I remember from the good ol’ days when she lived here. Her last day, I asked her about how she was feeling about coming back and living here, with me still in the house. (That had always been the worst part for her – my presence.) She said she wouldn’t want to volunteer to spend time with me, but also understood that I was here. However,  if I were to somehow go away – die, divorce, whatever-that would be preferable for her.  (I like it when she’s up front with the awful stuff, I really do. The alternative is much worse.)

That night after the boys were in bed, Mike and I talked with her again and I asked her about what had happened in the hall when she’d tripped me. She said she wasn’t in that hallway the day in question. Wasn’t even around. No idea what I was talking about. She’d almost done a total faceplant in a public hallway just a couple days before and yet claimed to have no memory of it. I told her that was okay – but she needed to know that if anything ever happened along those lines again, my reaction would be very physical and she needed to be careful not to accidentally or intentionally do anything that would cause such a reaction.

Her story changed a few times over the next weeks. She DID remember being in the hall, but she didn’t do anything. Then she decided I’d made the whole thing up to make her look bad.  (frame job!) She said she’d lied about this detail or that detail but she really remembered nothing of the incident I was describing and that really was the truth and the other stuff had been lies but not that.

My knee was fine after a week or so. It wasn’t that big an incident, physically. But it was a VERY big incident, regardless. It took me from the ‘yeah, I’m ready for this challenge, bring her home’ place to “HELL NO, UNSAFE, NO WAY, AND I REALLY, REALLY MEAN THAT.”  I’d been figuring out what it would look like for our family, committing to the extreme challenges ahead, and meeting with high school counselors and really, yaknow, planning. And then the tripping thing happened. And the weeks of lies.

And at the same time, Kim-16yr and I both – in different states – decided the same thing. No WAY are we doing this. Kim-16yr doesn’t want to be around me. She’d rather I die and then she’d return to this house. Just as she felt before she left. And I don’t want her here – not sure what the next ‘accident’ will be or if it’ll be aimed my way or at one of her brothers.  I don’t want to live like that again. I don’t think she’s safe in this house.

Mike was heartbroken. He was on the verge of having his little girl back home and it all fell apart quite suddenly and he couldn’t put the pieces back together. None of us could.  None of us can. He’s still heartbroken, and understandably so.

I was worn out from the constant therapy calls where we all ran around in circles trying to follow Kim-16yr’s latest round of memory and denials and lies and truth and manipulations. It was exhausting, as ever, but also more pointless than ever. So I opted out. I told Mike and the school that I was done. I would be happy to talk with Kim-16yr if she wanted to chat or catch up (she hasn’t), but all of her caretaking decisions, therapy calls, and parental obligations would ALL be Mike from then on.

This was brilliant. It is much harder to be someone’s easy target if you disconnect and do not show up for your regularly scheduled target practice.

Mike was a capable, loving dad before I met him – making all of the parenting decisions alone and doing just fine. I figured he could just go back to that and I could take a break. And, no surprise, he’s doing great. I hear some of what’s going on and I cringe and disagree with a few details – but then remind myself that it isn’t my problem anymore to sort out,  and I do not have to be involved. And I’m not! YEA! And I don’t want to be. For the most part, he doesn’t even discuss the details with me, and that works fine, too.

Mike decided Kim-16yr would live with a couple in Utah. He’s met them, I haven’t, and I am gladly staying out of it. Until today. When Ethan-10yr had relevant questions, and the time was as right as it was ever going to be to ask those hard questions and hear some hard answers. We’re careful, though. We don’t tell details they’re not ready for. The basic ones are painful enough.

He sobbed and shook and cried and asked why his sister didn’t want “us.” But it isn’t him as a brother that she doesn’t want, and I tried to explain but it’s such a hard thing to explain. And he was afraid that this was the normal path of kids in our family, and he’d have these same issues too and it was inevitable… and explaining that is also so difficult and maybe i didn’t do it well enough. I don’t know. I’m not sure.  It’s a really important thing to get right, and I think maybe I didn’t.

It’s an impossible, excruciating, emotional thing to understand and even I don’t – and I’ve lived it and am here and am an adult who KNOWS and lived all the awful details… and how to explain to a sweet freckle faced child with tear drenched, mile long eyelashes that the same thing is not about to unfold in his own life… that his sister is not rejecting him personally… that this really IS the best, safest solution… it’s not his fault… it’s not something clearly explained or understood at all.

We prayed for Kim-16yr and the family she’ll live with. We cried. We shushed each other so we wouldn’t disturb a not-napping Seth-4yr. Then I made Ethan-10yr  promise not to go stand in front of the bathroom mirror and work himself up into a greater emotional state. He does that. He agreed, though, and he’s since calmed down.

This is one of those mothering days where I just do NOT know what I’m doing and am in over my head and I’m trying really hard and it still is not enough for Kim-16yr (which is standard), but it also isn’t enough for Ethan-10yr or me or Mike or anyone at all.

This is one of those things I write sometimes for the ‘future me’ – a few years down the road when I don’t remember exactly how something happened but I”m in the mood to totally depress myself. Don’t think you need to text, email or comment here, don’t worry. This was long and kinda awful, but I’m fine. I just need to round everyone up and go run at the gym and I’ll be fine.

The Day is Half Over, The Iced Tea Glass Is Half Empty

August 8th, 2010 at 2:42 pm » Comments (5)

It’s Sunday. Quite a few things have gone wrong today, but it’s still a good day. It’s all about perspective. Not the holy kind of perspective you might get on a Sunday — the kind of “eh, not that big of a deal” perspective you might get the day after you accidentally fling a pair of panties at a bank teller. The missteps of today seem much smaller by comparison. (yes, actually you CAN accidentally fling a pair of panties at a bank teller. It SEEMS ridiculous and impossible and mortifying, but that particular combination of adjectives seems to be my specialty. I have no idea what God can possibly do with that specialty. Today I’m thinking, perhaps not much.)

Moving on. I know I’ll have to come back to that, but I can’t bring myself to explain it just yet. Except to say again, “TOTAL ACCIDENT, and yes of course I’m horrified.”

If ever you happen to see me in some top or dress that zips up the side, it can be safely assumed that at some point prior to your seeing me – I was stuck, flailing and helpless in the bathroom, trying to wiggle into this particular, disorienting, side-zipping thing. As was the case today. I always think if it’s cute enough, or on sale enough, that it’ll be fine, and worth it, and one of these days I’ll just figure it out. Right. But I haven’t. Today I had a side-zipping top on and a miniskirt, both Ann Taylor by way of eBay and combined less than $10. (LOVE that. Except the stupid side zipper which almost made me late to church.)

Once zipped in and off to church, everything was okay. All went well. I had made sure there was nothing in my purse that should not be there, in the event of random, unforeseen flinging action. (Actually there WAS the same pair of panties, so I stuffed them in the center console in the car before going in. Brilliant.)

Mike surprised me by showing up, and having kids with him. This was really especially good not just because I had someone warm to snuggle into and I’m always cold, but because of the whole minor mess I’ve gotten myself into with someone we’ll just call Anthony.

A few months ago I did NOT miss the point of the Sunday message and really felt quite certain I was supposed to start taking Anthony home from church. He’s an older guy, almost blind, and he was on crutches. (I remember crutches. I hate them.) He lives nearby. So after church that day I drove after him and cornered him in a parking lot, introduced myself, took his crutches, and made him get in so I could drive him home. I was pushy.

Any time since then that I’m there and he’s there, I take him home. After a few weeks of this,  Anthony and Mike met and Mike and I took him home together at least once. And yet still… Anthony’s been a bit too flirty. And he’s been turning down rides from a couple we’re friends with who I did not know were also offering.

The man is full of flattery and compliments, which I dismiss rather easily since he is, you know, blind. He would ask if I were sure I really had a husband. (Yes. You’ve met him.) Then he gave me his phone number, his exact apartment address and started inviting me over and telling me he’s lonely. He hints that he’d like to try my cooking. I ignore those hints, but really that would solve this problem in no time flat. NO ONE likes my cooking and there’s a real good chance it’ll make you sick and afraid of me. And I don’t want to poison him. I just don’t want him to flirt with me. I suppose it’s a bit un-Christian to say, “I don’t talk to ANYONE on the phone, or go hang out with people I actually DO like and know, embrace the sense of lonely, Anthony,  and leave me out of it, and I’m sure not taking you up on any of this or start bringing over baked goods, so stopitrightnow.”  But I’m getting real close to saying something like that anyway. Or more polite. I don’t know. He lives VERY close to church and by the time I really start to think I should say something and work out what it might be, it’s easier to just open the door for him, hand him his crutches and forget about it for a week. But it isn’t going away.

Today was a great opportunity, what with Mike’s arrival – MIKE could take Anthony home. The only problem with this was that Mike had driven my truck. Mike couldn’t take Anthony home in my truck, as Anthony probably couldn’t get into it .And monster-truck, miniskirt, modesty are not three M words that get along well. So I waited until no one was around and climbed up into the truck. The skirt ripped. Loudly.

I waited in the parking lot, trying to hide and probably not doing a very good job. It’s hard to hide in a monster truck, but the task is easier if you’re hiding at the far opposite end of the parking lot and you’re hiding from a nice blind man.

Mike called me from a few parking spaces over. He’d been digging through the center console for who knows what. In that center console, among other things, is a pair of panties and a piece of paper with Anthony’s phone number and apartment number. Fortunately for me, Mike found this to be quite funny. Some husbands might not have. I realize this and am duly grateful.

Mike drove Anthony home and then called to tell me to meet him at a sandwich shop that plays really loud music and is always extremely cold. But the kids eat well there, so I didn’t object.  I couldn’t park my truck anywhere convenient and ended up way far away from anything. Which was just as well, as I hopped down in a torn miniskirt and there was no one around to notice.

The kids did eat well, but Caden-6yr spilled iced tea all over the table and down my already-freezing leg and I sat there listening to the blaring music and thinking how my avoiding Anthony probably demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the message at church. Or worse, not a total lack of understanding, but a serious unwillingness on my part. It was  a bit depressing.

But I can’t help but think that surely I’m an exception to the : Go be the salt of the earth thing. If I’m  the type that will accidentally sexually harass someone just while out doing an errand, then that is hardly doing God any favors and maybe I can just stay home and let someone else be salty.  Or if I can’t give a man on crutches a ride home without it turning icky, well, maybe someone else could have done that a lot better. I tend to be messing things up more than I’m helping.

(not that you asked, but there was a VERY good reason to have extra set of clean clothes in purse, involving gym locker shortages, etc. not that it matters. am freak and never want to go to a bank/church/anywhere again. this is terribly inconvenient.)

Scattered but Surely Brilliant Thoughts. (snort)

August 5th, 2010 at 4:48 pm » Comments (7)

*I had a Diet Coke and croutons for breakfast.  I figure that’s the same as a piece of toast.

*The hand I hit on the silverware drawer, mid-dance,  is fine. Bruised, ugly, but fine if I just don’t touch it in any way. (I know. That was a much-yearned-for, urgent update. You’re welcome.)

*I cross the toes on my right foot when I run. This is not advisable, or easy to do, and I find it about impossible to stop. Also, it hurts.

*I have my father’s toes. Ew.

*Some things are better in large quantities: shoes, closet space, personal space at almost all times, socks, sweaters, sex, unwatched DVRed episodes of Top Chef, little boy kisses,  Diet Coke, flowers, exercise and sweat, batteries of all sizes for all reasons and at all times, nail clippers, prayer, paper towels, postage stamps,  laundry detergent, lip gloss, tulips, sun, white crepe myrtles, and macadamia nuts.

*Recently went through a secret but intense Conway Twitty phase. I’m not proud of this, but I have no regrets.

*Weird and proud, y’all. Weird and proud.

*I believe that being a girl is NO excuse for hitting like one. Learn to punch hard, and the right way, just in case, ladies. (Or for the fun of it. And learn to kick out teeth, while you’re at it.)

*I like to have enough extra room in my purse for a pair of jeans. Just in case I want to stash a pair there. It’s just nice. Like having a spare bedroom. Even if you never use it. It’s just nice to have. (I’m guessing. We don’t have a spare bedroom. We have a bed in a finished, unused basement. This is fine, of course, but it is not the same as a spare bedroom. It’s dark and no natural light and that makes me seriously hate to go down there. I think there are spiders there.)

*I know I’ve said it before, but I have a deep, unrelenting hatred for roses. I try not to let it show around rose-owners or rose-admirers or roses-on-their-clothing types,  and so every once in awhile I just have to let it all out and tell y’all how much I cannot STAND them. One step above barf. One SMALL step. (I know that’s not normal. Go ahead and love your roses. It’s fine. I won’t hurt them. I won’t get that close.)

*My sister is referred to here as “LaLa.” That is not her real name. It is also not pronounced, “Layla.” It’s LaLa as in ‘ooooh la la.’  Or as in ‘fa la la la la.’  I once ordered her a thong with an Eiffel Tower and the words “oooooh la la”  only to learn later that Victoria’s Secret  had discontinued it. She was SO GLAD not to receive this particular tribute  to her nickname.  Yeah, well, I thought it was cute. It was REAL cute when I got a somewhat stern ‘don’t buy me thongs or underwear of any kind, ever‘ talk. (it still makes me laugh just to remember it.)

*My friend, one I’ve had for ALWAYS, just came to visit. I hadn’t seen her in more than 10 years. She’s the one I talk about losing at the end of this post, and the one I cried about here. (Although that crying was also knee pain.)  And now we talk all the time and she even came to see me. It was wonderful. As if no time had passed, and she was exactly the same except a little calmer. (yes, I’ve said that to her, and no it won’t bother her if she reads it.)

*My stepmother became a grandmother today. So exciting! (although she’s really BEEN a grandmother sort to my kids for years, this is a little different and very cool. I’m happy for her, and am impatiently waiting for her to send me newborn pictures any minute.)

*I fully believe if you want flowers (roses, even) or jewelry, you should buy them yourself and not try to get a man to do it, no matter the occasion, no matter the man. I think I came to this conclusion at some point after I got jewelry hidden in pots and pans one Christmas, and at some point before I gave up jewelry altogether. I’ve had flowers delivered to myself lots of times, and loved them all every single time, because? No roses. Just tulips or orchids or whatever else I wanted.  (Mike loves this idea, too.)

*I  strongly believe in using the word ‘brother’ as a verb. Just as you would ‘mother’ or ‘parent’ someone, I direct the kids to ‘brother’ each other sometimes. This is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Ethan-10yr ‘brothered’ Seth-4yr very well today over the issue of a cigarette lighter at a convenience store. Put an arm around him, told him to put it back, explained what it was, told him since we were at a gas station he was probably going to blow us all sky high in an awful, deadly explosion if he didn’t put it back. No mothering required. I just watched and listened, and soon Seth-4yr bugged his eyes out and pushed his bottom lip out and looked adorable and repentant.  And afraid for his life.

*Also today, Ethan-10yr smothered another  brother with a pillow. That is not an example of how to ‘brother’ at all. That earned him some serious mothering, and not in a warm fuzzy way. In a ‘you just lost some swim time, buddy’ sort of way.

*Caden-6yr is highly distraught over not getting to take his nap at my mom’s house today. (Isn’t that just a glorious sentence? Ahh. Love it. He’s six, he naps, and WHERE he naps is important to him. I love it.) But today was Seth-4yr’s turn to nap there. Which he did. Which is also glorious. Thank You, God, for nappers.

*Yesterday my children did not nap for some reason and it made me SO GRATEFUL for today and most other days when they do nap. Can you tell?

*They go to school in 2 weeks. TWO.

*Surprise. I am not ready for this. I am still figuring out what we’re going to do this summer.

Not the Body Pillow Type

August 4th, 2010 at 8:44 pm » Comments (1)

Mike got home late from another trip last night. He might hang around for a few days this time, but it’s a LOT of travel lately, and he’s warning it’s gonna get a lot worse. He looked over in the corner of our bedroom and saw a giant white body pillow with a bicycle themed pillowcase.

“Uh… is that new?”

“Yeah, honey. You’re gone so much I went out and bought a six foot long body pillow. With bicycles. You  know it.”

He didn’t say anything. Believe it or not, I’m not usually sarcastic. It was late. It threw him.

“Mike, that’s Seth-4yr’s pillow. I bought a new pillowcase for him and it took forever for me to get it on the stupid thing,  and then he took it off right away and so I told him he couldn’t have it back until he promised to leave it on. I’m still waiting.”

“Ah.”  (Mike. Man of few words, particularly late at night and after a trip.)

Every once in awhile (always for dubious comic effect) I try this weird, husky voice. It doesn’t sound husky- it sounds like I’m trying hard not to burp. Probably because I can’t use that voice without also trying hard not to laugh.  But I put that particular unfortunate voice to use anyway and said, “If you keep traveling this much, I’m going to get a body pillow for me and have a life size Mike photo screenprinted onto a pillowcase.”

He laughed and said something about working out more.

It’s not what I was going for, but whatever.

Today, Seth-4yr promised not to remove the bicycle pillowcase, got his giant pillow back, and then promptly removed the bicycle pillowcase. I might end up with a body pillow whether I want one or not.

I really do not.

I love what Seth-4yr does with his. He forms it into a rainbow, arch shape and then sleeps underneath it. He looks like a low-budget commercial for an open-air MRI machine. So cute.

Open air really is the way to go.

toad plague, part 2

August 2nd, 2010 at 11:07 pm » Comments (9)

this is what it looks like when i blog after whacking right hand on sharpish kitchen drawer corner while doing a stupid dance while kids napped: no capital letters, brief, and lots of me stopping and saying, “ow” if I move fingers on right hand too much or at all. am such dork. must stop the stupid kitchen dancing. or shut drawers all the way. or flail less.  bruised swollen hand, but i’m sure it’ll be fine real soon. who needs a right hand anyway?
toad plague, part two:

we kept them and fed them and collected up to 84 toads. ethan-10yr came home from camp and i thought we’d release at a local water pond/lake place. mike thought he’d just dump em out in the flowerbed in the backyard. easier. faster.

(am taking a break to breathe deeply in and out.)

i did not agree with this idea, but it was already done by the time i knew of it.  have since almost stepped on 84 frogs about a million times. they are not leaving. they really can’t. secure fence and all. they are everywhere. again. go figure.

mike did rescue a turtle, though, and that was very  very very nice.

also released in back yard.

then  mike left town, and left me with 84 toads and a turtle and boys underfoot. again.

the boys, i do not mind.

the toad herding every time a door opens in order to keep house toad-free, yeah pretty much i do.

i had toad pics. i even resized (successfully) with much help from volunteer technical support/nice person who knew what to do. so nice!  but can’t figure out how to get resized pic into wordpress and ow. with  the ow. was fine 10 min ago. now throbbing awful ow. hitting ‘publish’ button without pics and not typing anymore it makes it worse.

am such  dork.

and  clumsy.

which is usually ok. whatever. drawers dont really need all those pointy right angles. we dont really even need capital letters, turns out.

i really dont need 84 frogs.