Jun 29, 2009

Wouldn't You Want To Be Our Friends

6/29/2009 — cori
Some great friends of ours have been so kind to watch our kids for us over and over again. We really wanted to show them how thankful we were and how much we appreciated them. So...it made perfect sense to invite them over for dinner...Dress Up For Dinner, that is. In all fairness, we let them pick out the theme for this special occasion. "The Rain Forest" was agreed upon by all.

You know you're friends when you can dress up like a fool and all laugh at each other. We have been lucky enough to share this tradition with most of our family and a few of our friends. So far, no one has rescinded our friendship (and thankfully, you can't rescind familial bonds)...we're taking that as a good sign. If you are our friends and have yet to enjoy this special festivity...just wait...I can promise you, your turn IS coming.

Remember the rules: You have to make your costume with anything you have lying around in the house. The kids get no adult help. You may use face paint. No underwear on your head. What luck that I actually had 2 fake bananas laying around the house? It was that fact alone that inspired my lovely design.

Chuck the Piranha

David the Red Eyed Tree Frog

Garrett the Vampire Bat

Gavin the Poison Dart Frog

Grayson the Piranha

Bennett the Jaguar

Chloe the Purple Flower

Me the Banana Tree

The Volcano, Brynn

Too Much Nature?

6/29/2009 — cori
We were thrilled when we finally found a house that was surrounded by nature. Instead of the minuscule plot of land we used to live on, we now have a large backyard, huge green space of land on one side of our house and a bona-fide creek right behind our house with trees and all. It's the 'and all' part I never actually really thought about.

I love nature. I love walking on sidewalks or trails around wooded areas with gobs of bug spray on...I mean, I'm practically an outdoor enthusiast. I even learned how to camp last year. So, now that you understand that me and the outdoors are getting pretty cozy, you can understand why we were so excited to find this house with all this great outdoorsy stuff around it.

But what I hadn't bargained on, or either chose to remain completely naive about were the snakes. Snakes are a part of nature. And they're all around our property. It's too late to reconsider the house. It is now ours for the next 30 or so years. So...how did I find out that snakes also lived in my beloved suburban nature? I'm glad you asked...here's the story:

It was dusk, maybe around 8:30pm, and Chuck asks if I wanted to go sit on the front steps with him. (See, more proof that I love being outside around nature). I was sitting with my back to the house facing the street and Chuck was sitting in front of me facing the house. We were enjoying the cool part of the day, talking about how our days went and yada, yada, yada...when out of the blue he grabs my arm in a vice grip and calmly says, "Cori, why don't you step over here with me for a moment" and then proceeded to yank me from my current spot.

My first thought was, "Oh my gosh, there's a spider on my shoulder, isn't there?" But outloud I said, "What it is babe, what's behind me?" It all happened so fast...one second I'm sitting less than 2 feet in front of a snake and the next second I'm looking at it from 6 feet away and on the verge of puking. TOO MUCH NATURE FOR ME!!! GET ME IN THE HOUSE!!! But I couldn't run into the solitude of my own house because the snake was slithering right in front of the front door. I asked my rescuer in a panicky voice, "WHAT DO WE DO NOW???" And he replies with the ever so comforting, "I have no clue." So we sit there and watch it slither around our house.

I refuse to step off the sidewalk. There is no way I'll ever be stepping on the grass again without lace up combat boots and long pants. Then Chuck has a genius idea. He leaves me ALONE outside with our new friend and runs inside for the camera and Gavin. I knew he would come up with a plan...but what kind of crazy plan is this???

Gavin comes running out in his boxers anxious to see what all the commotion is about. He and Chuck proceed to throw rocks at the bushes to try and lure snakey-poo out of his hideout so Chuck can get a good picture of him. When the coast is clear, I make a running leap into the entry way, dead-bolting the front door lock behind me. There is no way that snake will enter my house now.

I am SOOOO FREAKED OUT. I can't turn a corner without looking first to make sure snakey-poo isn't curled up in the corner. The heebeejeebees plauge me the rest of the night. I can barely keep the contents of my stomach in place. UGH! I decide to take comfort in the solace of my bathtub (after checking the drain, tub, hamper and closet throughly for any 'new friends' first).

Meanwhile, Chuck is googling snakes and trying to find out what type we have lurking around. He was thrilled with his findings. He informs me that it is a harmless rat snake and that we should be comforted by his presense. He says, "Trust me. We'd much rather have a rat snake than rats." Alrightly then....how can I argue with that.

I still go outside during dusk, but now I go out back and sit on a chair and keep my feet off the ground. I choose to be thankful that we have no rats and spend a lot of time looking at the birds on the bird feeder...that's my kind of nature.

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