double toad…what does it mean?

This week on two separate occasions we have found a toad in our bedroom (and yes, we removed the toad the first time, so it’s not like we’re keeping a toad in our room for some reason).

Sure the bedroom door is close to the back door I use to take the dogs out before bed. Sure we live near a creek and there are lots of toads in the yard. Sure, I suppose a wily toad could slip in when I opened the door to step in or out.

But twice? Two toads?

It leads me to wonder… Double Toad… What does it mean?

And if you’re thinking “huh?” right now, then I leave you with this essential cultural meme:  (you’re welcome.)

melancholy and two lists of five

Five things I don’t do anymore:

  1. Wipe little people’s noses, bottoms, sticky fingers… All my children can vote at this point; they don’t need me in that way now. They still need me once in awhile, but it never involves anything gooey.
  2. Watch TV. Okay, I still DVR Glee, Modern family and Jon Stewart, and sometimes remember to watch them, but the TV here is off 95% of the time. I just decided I had better things to do than watch crime dramas so I quit.
  3. Drink. Drinking booze gave me a lot over the years (social confidence, relaxation, something to do at boring parties) but in the end I discovered that it took away a lot as well. Too much. So I quit.
  4. Sunbathe. I’m 49 years old. I own a mirror.
  5. Beat myself up. I’m still a work in progress in this area, but I’m learning to be kinder to myself. I’ve decided to ban the thought “I suck at this” in every instance except if I ever try to go snow skiing again. Because, I really, really do suck at that.

Five things I do now that I didn’t used to do:

  1. Get up early. The world is nice and quiet at 6:30. There are usually a couple joggers out when I go get the paper on the front walk. Last week I saw a woman jog past, slowly, but rather than holding her arms bent at her sides, she was waving them over her head, frantically, like her hair was on fire. She ran that way the entire length of the street. If I’d slept until 7:00 I wouldn’t have gotten to see that.
  2. Work on my writing every day. I don’t necessarily “write” something every day, but I touch base with my book every day. Even if it’s just to read though some notes and put the characters in my mind so I can noodle around with dialog or some plot point that’s been bugging me. Even while I’m letting my first draft rest, I’m organizing notes etc…to get ready for the next draft.
  3. Make my bed every morning. It’s nice to have a room in the house that never looks like a bomb just went off.
  4. Start slowing when the light turns yellow. I’m not sure when I began lifting my foot at yellow lights rather than punching the gas, but it’s been going on for at least a year or two. Maybe it’s genetic; I remember my father doing this. In fact, when he was in his sixties it got to where he slowed down as he approached green lights, waiting for them to turn yellow. I don’t know how he ever got anywhere.
  5. Honor time. I’m getting better at saying “no” without feeling guilty. Lately, I think hard before I agree to give away my time, because in the end, it’s all I really have.

two sets of two and speaking of hell…

Okay, so it’s been a milliondy-bajilliondy degrees here for weeks even though it’s not yet mid-June. Seriously, if this keeps up, by August living here will be like living on the surface of the sun.

Anyway, we just moved to a new (to us) house a few weeks ago and we put in several (8) baby trees that we’re supposed to water.  The landscape guru was quite specific, fifteen minutes twice/week.  Easy enough.

So last night, after the second hose-tree-swap, I came back in and forgot to set the timer. This means two of the trees were watered until I finally remembered that I was watering trees–in other words for about two hours. (Confession time–a few years ago, different house, different tree–I did something similar except I left the hose running for two days. A neighbor’s yard guy had to come into my back yard and turn it off. Sigh.)

I have to assume the trees will be fine, but this bodes poorly for my upcoming dotage for two reasons:

  1. I forgot all about the timer in the amount of time it took to walk from the yard into the house, and
  2. Apparently it takes me two hours (or two days) to realize that I’ve forgotten something.

Heaven help me when I have twelve different pills to take every day.

So…in musing about old age and the afterlife (see post title)  I am reminded of an almost funny story about my friend…let’s call her Morticia

Last summer a friendly conversation with Morticia took a hard right into the Twilight Zone, when she confided in me about a habit of hers and, I believe, her entire extended family…they photograph the dead. In other words they take photos of friends and family member post-mortum (as in while they lie in their coffins). Morticia then puts these photos in a “death book” (at least that’s what I think she called it. I was too horrified to pay close attention.)

When this information prompted me to quickly say, “Well, when I die I’m having a closed casket funeral” (because really wouldn’t you say that after hearing about Morticia’s death book?) she said something like, “Oh, I’ll find a way to get your casket open to take a photo.”

I laughed.

She didn’t.

I have two problems with this:

  1. Ewwww.
  2. I’m really not all that photogenic when I’m alive and breathing. Even before my body parts started sagging, every picture ever taken of me has made me look either mentally challenged or stoned. I shudder (shutter? groan. sorry the pun police will here soon) to think what a snapshot of me as a corpse would resemble.

Now I like Morticia. She’s smart and funny and resourceful, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather put in charge of a fundraiser. I should have her over for dinner…just not my funeral.

of desky-feng shui and pee

Well today I moved my desk to face away from the wall–a big improvement. I spent too many hours with my nose in the corner in Mrs. Goodwin’s first grade class to be at my happiest and most creative staring at a wall.

Then, not an hour later I discovered that one of my dogs (I won’t name any names stella) peed in my studio. I suppose I have no forensic evidence that it was her, but over the years I have come to understand that she is the dog with the most flexible interpretation of the concept, housebroken. I wish I knew what goes on in that tiny smooth lemon-brain of hers that would make her pee on a rubber mat rather than go out through the dog door (an equal distance from her dogbed) and pee where I’m pretty sure she knows she’s supposed to.

I’m not into assigning human motives to animal behavior but if I were, I would say that she was feeling a little neglected and bitchy plus the studio stinks of turpenoid and that can’t be fun for someone with a nose a million times more sensitive than mine. Or maybe she was just in the mood for indoor plumbing today, which I find irritating, but understandable.

After all, I’m always in that mood.

never say never

Alrighty then…So when I said I would never have a blog, I meant it. really. I felt that having a blog would mean take time away from my real writing (for a discussion as to whether or not the hours I spend typing on a book that might never be in a bookstore is “real” you’ll have to wait until I am feeling the winds of self-justification strongly at my back and I write a post about that. That post will probably be filed under “why I should be in therapy”) and visual art (for a discussion as to whether or not the hours I spend painting…etc…you get the drift).

And then the funniest thing happened: I realized that this would provide excellent tool for writing and painting avoidance. Just what I needed! A way to avoid being productively creative and still not end up with any clean clothes! Whoopee!

So, here I am. blogging. sigh.

If there’s a crow around serve it up grilled with pineapple.

I will not tweet, however. Are you listening, universe?