Weird Tuesday

Today has been the weirdest day.

It started with this toad sitting on my front porch, just sort of, well, LOOKING at me. Like, he didn't move when I got close to him.
Which, of course made me worry that he'd tangled with one of the cats. Since I really like toads, this upset me. So, I herded the cats (and it's exactly like what you're visualizing--about that efficient) into the house and then I watched that toad on my front porch for about twenty minutes until it became clear that I distracting him from catching the three million mosquitoes that were buzzing around.

Still. It was strange.

I guess I've read too much Harry Potter because it did sort of seem like this Toad might easily have been some wizard transfigured. I mean, we've lived in this house for seven years and I have seen many toads around but they usually don't hang out like they're waiting for you to offer them a cup of coffee or something.

It crossed my mind that maybe I should kiss it.

But you know, there is whimsical and then there is picking up a slimy amphibian, no matter how much you like them. I would have made a terrible princess.

PLUS, I already HAVE my prince and I'm not sure I could take another I am perfectly happy with the one I have.

So, then, out of the blue some 45 minutes into the school day, I got a call from the school nurse saying that she had Little Miss "I Love Fourth Grade More Than Life Itself" in her office and it appeared that she was very pale and complaining of nausea. "What, no B.B. in her ear?" I asked. "I'll come and get her."

So, I went and got her and it was pretty clear that there wasn't a thing wrong with the child.

So I felt sort of taken advantage of, because she wouldn't talk to me to tell me what was really going on, you know? And we both know that she wasn't ill. So, something ELSE happened, but she wouldn't talk to me.

Which makes me crazy.

Okay, so THEN, my book club is coming over for its monthly meeting tonight. It's at my house because I picked the book so I get to host. I picked The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which I liked when I read it but now that I've stewed about it for a few weeks, I realize that I sort-of hated it. Not because the basic premise wasn't good but it just wasn't that well-written. (Last month we read The Glass Castle, which I galloped through in record time. That was a great book, if upsetting to my middle-class you-do-all-you-can-for-your-kids mentality.)

Anyway, the cancellations are coming in and it looks like I might be the only person here tonight to discuss the book. No, I'm kidding, there will be a handful of us, I'm sure. Probably not enough to justify the enormous effort I have made to stash all of our clutter, though, because guess what I realized. No, go on, just guess.

We've become one of those scary families.

I'm not saying we're ready for a reality TV show but we have stacks of clutter. Well, we did. Now it's all in paper bags on the spare bedroom bed.
Which I will have to clear off before my sister comes to visit next weekend, but that, my friends, is not the same as going through each excruciating piece of paper right this second.

I don't know. Somehow, having people over makes me see all the areas in which I have lost ground since my foot surgery, which has rather drastically affected my mobility. And the Clutter Patrol has been a big casualty. So has the Scuffed Paint. The inside of my house needs repainting badly. The books need going through so that the board books can make way for the chapter books on Jane's shelf and the thin chapter books can make way for War and Peace on Ana's shelf.

And okay, I can admit this: I have too much yarn.

No, I do. I know I do. (I did cast on a sweater yesterday, with the step-by-step help of my friend Kate. I'll keep you posted.)

There's a bike in my den.

I'm fat.

My daughter won't talk to me about what's going on with her.

I've had a big snack and I am still in the WORST mood. So, I snapped at my friend Tiffany via e-mail and she snapped back about how she didn't have time for other people's angst anyway.


And then, just now, THIS was on my front walkway.

My neighbor, who was waiting for the bus and his son, said he thought it might be a COPPERHEAD. I fainted.

Have I mentioned that I hate snakes?

After I breathed into a bag for a while, I sent a picture to my husband and he told me he thinks it's a Texas Rat Snake. Which is better but the thought occurred to me that if this little guy is hanging out, isn't his Mama somewhere nearby?

This is about more fun with amphibians than I can take.

I'll let you know if the Loch Ness Monster shows up at Book Club.


hokgardner said…
I saw you yesterday, and you're not fat.

Congrats on casting on the sweater. I can't wait to see it in progress.

And at least you didn't have both your sitter and housekeeper no call no show on you. That got my day off to a great start.
Kerry said…
In can honestly say that your day was worse than mine, and I haven't been able to say that in ages.

One should not have to deal with snakes, toads, school officials, and book club calls all in the same day. That's just plain torture!
Anonymous said…
Well, I don't think it's mama would be around cuz I don't think snakes are like that....but if it's a RAT snake...wouldn't it just stand to reason???

Anyways, you and I sound like we are in exactly the same book club but ahead by a couple months. Don't buy anymore books until you check with me first.

If The Time Travellers Wife, The Birth House, Eat Pray Love or On Beauty (which I coudn't get through) show up on your list - I've already got them!
I like the clutter picture - thanks for making me feel better.

I once picked a book of long short stories by Isak Dinesen (it had Sorrows Acre in it) for book club. I had read it maybe 15 years previously and loved it. But that was back (before kids) when I had lots of time to wade through that sort of prose. So, at book club, everyone said that they really didn't like it and asked me why I had picked it. And I said I hadn't the faintest idea. Then we all ate peach pie and ice cream. We weren't a very intellectual book club, but we were very forgiving.

A great book that I was "forced" to read by another member was The Egg and I. I swear it is a forgotten classic. It's written by the same woman who wrote the Mrs. Pigglewiggle books for kids. This book is so funny and so real. You have to read it! Everybody read it! It is a memoir by this woman (Betty MacDonald) who marries an insurance salesman, only to have him tell her on their honeymoon that what he's always dreamed of doing is owning an egg farm. You know, raising chickens for eggs. And her mother had always told her to let her husband do whatever made him happy, because there was nothing worse than an unhappy husband. Well, turns out she was wrong. Her existence as the wife of an egg farmer was as bad as it gets. But she tells it in a very funny way. Hurry! Read it! You won't regret it! We can all meet back here next week, say, and talk about it.

Hey, I just hijacked your blog, Barb. Sorry.
Ei said…
You are not fat.

You are NOT FAT.

Just shut up about being fat, because, girl, I'm well aquainted with fat and honey, it ain't you.

Ahem. Sorry. Had to get my baggage out of the way.

I don't deal too well with the scaled critters. Um. Ew. Ok I guess toads don't have scales, huh? Well, you know. Those cold blooded things. I've been thinking about them too much now. Thank you for the insomnia.

I am, however, very well aquainted with clutter and no one showing up for my gatherings. I can empathize. Not help, but I'll cry with you.

But I think you should be happy anyway. I find it disconcerting when Barb is grumpy. I don't like it one bit.

Suna Kendall said…
a) It's a rat snake. They are your friend. They eat icky things. We kept one for three years that we found in the yard, then let it go. We saw it many times afterwards.

b) Nope you are not fat. You are enviably svelte, just out of shape for a legitimate reason.

c) I hate it when the kids won't say what is wrong.

d) We are repainting our interiors, which means stuff is moved all over the place. And my fiance is finishing moving all his possessions into my house. Can you say "clutter"? Can you say "stuff you'd never have brought into the house yourself but now that you have to find a place for?"

Life sure can be frustrating. Hoping today is better and that the book club went well.
MadMad said…
(Cue music...) Will Rat Snake eat the Toad? Was daughter's illness related to kissing the frog? Who will show up at Barb's book group? And... will the sweater survive its first cast on? Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode of So, the thing is... blog.

No really. We have to wait?!
Anonymous said…
I really get the snake thing - we moved to the country almost 10 years ago, but the 1st summer there was a huge snake on my front porch very definitely alive. I called my neighbor his comment "what does it look like and does it have a triangluar head" of course I said 'you have got to be kidding me it is a snake can't you come and do something'. He is still laughing about that - oh yeah, his istruction - 'shut the door, it can't come it, ya know'
Anonymous said…
Oh the paper clutter. I never had it very badly before kids but now...stars help me. I think I could fill those bags with what's on my kitchen counter alone. Many sympathies.