Monthly Archives: July 2013

There’s a snake in the yard – the sequel

“There’s a snake in the yard!” These are words I thought I’d never hear again. After we had an uninvited guest in our backyard last summer and the firefighters took care of it (if you call letting the snake get away taking care of it…), I thought it’d be the end of it.

And yet, Son #1 said those exact words yesterday afternoon. I thought he saw something else but when I looked outside, reality set in. Yep, there was a darn snake by the back wall in our yard, dangling from the netting I put up to prevent the squirrels from getting in to eat my produce. Here’s what the snake looked like. You can see its long pink tail. The rest of its body was all tangled in the netting at the top left of the picture. Yes, there’s a lot of netting. Believe it or not, some squirrels still manage to get through.

Red coachwhip snake in our backyard

Red coachwhip snake in our backyard

When the firefighters came last year, they couldn’t identify the snake but said it was “kind” and non-aggressive. Eventually I found out from the snake expert at the San Diego Natural History Museum it was a red coachwhip, a non-venomous, shy snake that lives in the Southern US. As soon as I saw the color and patterns of this snake, I knew it was another red coachwhip.

Of course my kids were quite concerned. Not much about the thought of a snake in the yard, but rather that it could die right there if we did nothing. That made me proud. I thought of calling 911 again and have the firefighters take care of it. Heck, I could enjoy a few good looking guys at my house, especially if it means I don’t have to touch a snake. But did I really want to tie up three firefighters and a firetruck for a long time?

Red coachwhip snake

Red coachwhip snake

What convinced me was how tangled his head was. There was no way this guy would hurt me if I freed him by starting at the tail and going up bit by bit. So I took the plunge.

I grabbed my thick garden gloves. I can be brave but I’m not stupid. I know even non-venomous snakes can bite pretty hard. I grabbed a pair of scissors and I got to work, cutting the plastic netting little by little, being careful not to cut the snake’s skin. When I was about halfway up the body, I managed to flip the tail to the other side of the wall. I continued cutting while the snake stayed there without moving one bit. When I got closer to the head, he was getting antsy to get away. He twisted his body a few times the wrong way, which tightened the netting. I had to turn him around a few times to undo the damage and continue cutting.

Suddenly, it was free. It slowly slithered under the bushes on the other side of the wall, probably wondering what the hell happened to him. My kids managed to have a good look at him before he disappeared. It took me just about 30 minutes in the summer sun to do this.

I turned around to look at my kids and I screamed: “I freed a 4-foot long snake and we both survived! I am AWESOME!!!” I have never done anything like this in my life before (and I hope I don’t have to again) but it felt great to help out. Now I can only hope this guy is going to eat some of the critters that eat my produce to thank me for his freedom.

This adventure is definitely going in our jar of “good things that happened in 2013”. It feels good to wear the Supermom cape once in a while. Just don’t ask me to kill any spiders.

Goofy Monday: butt pockets and udders

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a Goofy Monday edition, and it’s not for lack of materials. I hope you enjoy this selection as much as I did when I heard it the first time.

What color is your underwear?
If you want to know what color my panties are, just follow me when I take my kids to a public restroom. You may hear this in the stall next to yours.
Son #2: “Hey, you’re wearing pink underwear!”
My kids ask me for privacy all the time, but they sure know how to invade mine. :-)

Old Navy sweetheart jeans

Old Navy sweetheart jeans

Butt pockets
Son #2: “Look, you have pockets on your butt cheeks!” (putting his hands on my jeans back pockets).
I bet some people would like to have pockets right there, so they can easily insert those butt implants.

What do mammals have in common?
Me: “Good morning. What do you want to eat for breakfast?”
Son #2: “Mama, I can see your udders!” (lifting my PJ shirt)
Wow, that will teach me to talk about mammals and breastfeeding with my kids.

It’s Pride Parade at our house!
Son #2: “Woohoo, I just came out of the closet!”
That’s what my kid said as he burst out of the closet all naked and started running around the living room. I swear I didn’t take him to see the San Diego Pride parade a few weeks ago! And believe it or not, he really, really likes girls. But that’s for another Goofy Monday.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “fresh”. I thought I’d focus on the fresh produce we grow in our garden and some of the kid-friendly fresh foods we prepare in our kitchen. Warning: if you’re hungry at the beginning of this post, you may be starving by the time you reach the end.

I love growing bright red cherry tomatoes in the garden. The only problem is, the darn squirrels love them too. And unlike me, they have no problem eating them if they’re not completely ripe. I do get lucky when I get to see cherry tomatoes get this red. Delightfully refreshing in the summer.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh cherry tomatoes

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh cherry tomatoes

The squirrels will let me grow a few things without touching them too much, mostly zucchini and green chard. I love cooking the chard, then add heavy cream, garlic and salt. It just melts in your mouth!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh green chard

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh green chard

When I have some time in the morning, I love to make pancakes with my youngest, who’s my sous chef in the kitchen. Don’t these fresh blueberry pancakes look yummy? That’s because they were!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh blueberry pancakes

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh blueberry pancakes

A few months ago I tried making cinnamon rolls and I now understand why they’re so popular at the grocery store. Even though I used the bread machine to mix the dough and let it rise, it still took a long time and some work to make them. But you can’t beat the taste of fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls (with no frosting for us, thank you).

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh homemade cinnamon rolls

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fresh homemade cinnamon rolls

We like making pizza too, by just putting fresh tomatoes, olives and cheese on top of fresh whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. I haven’t tried making my own pizza dough yet, but I should. Can you smell that freshly baked homemade pizza?

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Freshly baked homemade pizza

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Freshly baked homemade pizza

Of course we love dessert, but in the summer one of the few baked desserts we’ll tolerate in the heat is a fresh mixed berry pie, full of berry juices. Mmmmm, I want to make one now!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Freshly baked mixed berry pie

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Freshly baked berry piWordPress weekly photo challenge: Freshly baked mixed berry pie

What do you like to make fresh in your kitchen?

WWW Wednesdays – July 17, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

I’m not sure how your summer is going but mine is zooming by. I have tons of funny moments to share for a Goofy Monday edition but by the time I look at the calendar and think about it, it’s usually Tuesday or Wednesday already. So I’m trying my best to at least write this WWW Wednesdays on time, especially since we continue to read lots of good books.

My bookshelf

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath– What I’m currently reading
Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath.

– What I recently finished reading
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. After enjoying Chomp a few months ago, I thought I’d go back and read Hiaasen’s first young adult novel Hoot to see where it all started from. I wasn’t disappointed. Hiaasen has a very natural and convincing way to make his own characters become more aware of the environment around them and show how their actions can have a positive or negative effect. He doesn’t preach to preserve the environment one way or the other, but rather guides you in understanding how we can all help, one person at a time. The main story involves young Roy Eberhardt, who is new to Florida and doesn’t think it’s as cool as Montana. He may just change his mind by the end of the book. There’s bullying, new friendships, greed, and a whole lot of natural props (snakes and alligators, anyone?). A fun read for the summer, or anytime of the year.

Random Acts of Kindness by the editors of Conari Press. A little gem of a book sharing true stories of people’s encounters with random acts of kindness (they were either the givers or the recipients), as well as inspiring quotes about kindness and giving. This short book is super fast to read but full of ideas of what makes a random act of kindness kind and special indeed.

– What I think I’ll read next
How to Remodel a Man by W. Bruce Cameron, the author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey, a couple of my favorite books these past couple of years, and Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. This book looks absolutely hilarious and I can’t wait to laugh my way through it.

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading 
If You Want To See a Whale by Julie FoglianoIf You Want To See a Whale by Julie Fogliano. This book advises you what to do (and what not to do) so you can spot a whale. That includes wrapping yourself up in a not-too-cozy blanket so you don’t fall asleep, and being very, very patient.

How To Clean Your Room In 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget. This hilarious book shows you the best way to tidy your bedroom, starting with waiting for your mom to holler,  “GET UP THERE AND CLEAN YOUR ROOM—NOW!”, using all three of your names. One of the next steps is to actually take everything out of the drawers and closets… My kids laugh out loud at the advice and I haven’t seen them follow it, fortunately!

 – What they recently finished reading
My Mom Has X-Ray Vision by Angela McAllisterMy Mom Has X-Ray Vision by Angela McAllister. Matthew believes his mother has x-ray vision because she always knows what he’s doing. It beats the eyes behind the back of the head, doesn’t it? One day he decides to test his theory. The results are quite astonishing, especially for the reader, who gets to see a lot more about super mom than Matthew himself!

The Museum by Susan Verde. As a young girl walks through various museum galleries, she experiences different emotions by looking at different styles of art. When she finds herself in front of an empty canvas, she feels inspired to create art in her own way. The story is OK but Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations are what make this book a must-read.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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