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344th Friday Blog Roundup

On Monday, I was looking out the window, waiting for the Fed Ex man, when I noticed that someone had left an enormous black hose over our top step.  Our own garden hose is green, so I knew that it wasn’t someone borrowing our own, but my first thought was that my neighbour must be using our water spigot outside and maybe I should go see if they’re washing their car and get in on the car washing action.

And then the hose started to move.

And I realized that it wasn’t a hose and it wasn’t our neighbour borrowing our water, it was AN ENORMOUS BLACK SNAKE!

I watched in horror as it writhed and slithered on the top step.  From the angle I was at, I couldn’t tell exactly where it was moving, but it looked like it was entering the space between the front door and the screen door.  I flipped out and called Josh, who was about a 45 minute drive away, and screamed into the phone that there is a SNAKE ABOUT TO COME INTO OUR HOUSE AND KILL MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

He actually sounded a little panicked by this news, namely because we don’t live in a snake-y area.  In fact, this is my first time seeing a snake in our area.  The last snake I saw was about two feet long and totally skinny, chilling on the hiking trail in Catoctin.  This snake was between four and five feet long and thick.  Like this.

I called animal control and they essentially told me that they didn’t give a shit because rat snakes are not poisonous.  They told me to open the door and knock it out with a broom.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Can you hear the panic in my voice?  Do I sound like the type of person who is going to open the door?

I ran back to the window, now unable to see the snake, and noticed that two nice missionaries were walking up and down our street, neat shirts and backpacks, knocking on people’s doors.  I was about to open my window and ask if they’d help move the snake when the Fed Ex man arrived.  I hysterically told him through the door that I couldn’t accept my package because there was an enormous snake between my front door and the screen and could he please please please help me?

He opened the screen door and examined the area and told me the snake was gone.  He couldn’t stop laughing as I went outside and looked around the area.  He was right — the snake was nowhere to be found.  It had most likely slithered off toward my neighbour’s house, but that didn’t stop me from watching the front door the rest of the afternoon, just waiting to see that slick body slithering through a microscopic crack in the door (because snakes are boneless, right?  They can squeeze themselves anywhere… I think.  At least the man-eating ones can).

Freaked me out.


Is it just me or has the blogosphere gone enormously quiet and still in the past week or two?  Fewer people reading, fewer people writing, fewer people commenting.  I’ve read blog posts and scrolled down to leave a comment, expecting to see dozens of comments already there since the post was a few days old… and saw two.  I’ve opened my Reader and seen that only a handful of posts have been added though that number is usually enormous.  I know there is the summer slow down, but this feels like something else.  Blogging Listlessness.  Are you listlessly blogging, reading, and commenting?  How can I light a fire under your ass?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Things Get IF’fy has a banshee scream post about receiving yet another pregnancy announcement, again from a co-worker.  I love this musing on the future: “I wonder if the banshee will ever tone it down to a croak or a sighing moan.  I can see myself at 60 – who knows lucky enough to be a grandmother myself – trying hard to tune out the other grannies boasting about their scores of grandkids.”  Though I think Heather’s idea of an infertile nursing home is brilliant…

Too Many Fish to Fry has a post about the cruelness of the world; about the bitter and the sweet, and she finishes the post with a Pampers commercial that had me bawling.  Watch if you need a good cry (heads up: for a diaper commercial, it is IF-friendly).  TMFtF also has a writing workshop idea so look at her top post as well.

The Misadventures of MissOhKay has a post about unfulfilled due dates; namely why she imagines the size the child would be if she were still gestating yet she never thinks about that child past the due date, into the future.  Today is the unfulfilled due date, and I’m certain that she could use some extra love.

Life from Here has a post about her daughter’s birthday and the various celebrations, all seen through the lens of open adoption.  She writes: “Open adoption is complicated because relationships are complicated. Life is complicated.”  And this post is complicated, but it’s beautiful.  And it is also so clearly filled with love.

Lastly, No Kidding in NZ has a great post that I think deserves a larger discussion which is whether or not one babyproofs their house if they don’t have children (or, I’d add to the idea, if your children are older and you’ve moved along from the electrical-socket-cover stage).  I like what No Kidding does and her thoughts, but others have put good ideas in the comment section as well.  Add your thoughts too.

The roundup to the Roundup: I was almost eaten by an enormous black snake (or something like that).  What’s up with the wave of Blogging Listlessness (are you noticing it too?) And lots of great blog posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between June 3 and June 10) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Vee { 06.10.11 at 7:49 am }

Now, you see if you were in Australia that black snake would have been venomous. So count yourself lucky 😉

Yes, yes very quiet. I think I have the winter blues, so I don’t know what everyone else’s excuse is. You are welcome to light a fire under my ass.

2 April { 06.10.11 at 8:17 am }

I would have been petrified and hiding in the bedroom as far away from the snake as possible. I also would have called my husband and told him to come home and remove it which he might of actually done because he knows I’m terrified of snakes to the point that if I think it can get into the house, I’ll be out the back door and at the neighbor’s house until someone can verify for me no snakes are going to get me. Yes, I’m really that bad.

3 Flowergirl { 06.10.11 at 8:27 am }

OMG, have shivers reading your snake story, I would have absolutely freaked out if that was me, even if I lived in a snakey area. Well done on surviving.

4 loribeth { 06.10.11 at 8:36 am }

I HATE SNAKES. :p When I was about 12, we found a harmless garter snake (about the only kind of snake in our area, thankfully) sunning itself on our back step. I wouldn’t go out of the house all day. :p

I will admit to being a bad blogger/reader/commenter lately. I have been horrendously busy at work the last few weeks, & when I get home at night, the evening flies by, even if all I’m doing is staring blankly at a computer or TV screen. My Google Reader has been overflowing more than a few times lately.

Plus Blogger has been acting very weird for me lately — & I gather for some other bloggers as well. I haven’t been able to get the “publish” button below my draft post to work for weeks now — I have to go into my list of posts, check the one I want to publish & hit publish from there & (thankfully) THAT works. The spacing between paragraphs is often off, no matter how hard I try to correct it. And for whatever reason, I can’t always leave a comment on other bloggers’ posts. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t, no matter what ID I try to use. It’s driving me nuts. :p My computer recently upgraded itself to IE9, & I am wondering whether that’s at least part of the problem, since I started having difficulty with Blogger right around the same time.

5 manymanymoons3433 { 06.10.11 at 8:47 am }

Unacceptable!! If that were me there would have been a whole in our wall the shape of my body where I hurled myself out and down the freaking street cartoon style. Ugh…I can’t stress that enough!

6 Chickenpig { 06.10.11 at 9:15 am }

Snakes are cool, especially the harmless variety. Dead things, on the other hand, I can’t tolerate. So…if the snake was alive I would be happy to move it for you….but if it was dead I would be to panicked to get close.

7 Kathy { 06.10.11 at 9:26 am }

I would have totally been freaking out about the snake too! My skin was crawling and I was stressed out just reading about your experience!

I haven’t been blogging or commenting as much as usual because of stuff going on with our house (being under contract now finally after 8 months) and end of school year stuff. This morning I finally got some time to sit down and read and process a bit.

One of my fav posts this week was yours about how IF effects our sex lives, I think that was this week right?! It has been one of those weeks where I often don’t know what day it is… Anyway, I could really relate to that post. I read it and then meant to comment, even left the window open on my desktop so I would return and do so, and then it crashed and blah, blah, blah I never made it back. I may still do so, but just in case I am telling you know how much I appreciated it! Here is the link for anyone who missed it:


Also, another blog post that really moved me this week, even though it was written towards the end of last month, was this one by Angie from Still Life with Circles:


I know that many of you, especially those who have lost babies, are probably already aware of it now, but it is an incredible post about grief and where we are at right now in our healing and our lives. I have wanted to read Angie’s post, write my own and dive into the links for awhile now, but wasn’t ready until today. If you haven’t checked out this awesome project, I encourage you to.

I especially connected with this in Angie’s post about “Right Where (She Is)”,

“It makes it sound like I dwell in grief, but this is the place I process that part of my life. And it is so important, I can’t give it up.”

That really speaks to a huge part of what my blog has been for me since my daughter Molly was born and died.

8 It Is What It Is { 06.10.11 at 9:40 am }

I would have been less creeped out by the snake itself and MORE creeped out at losing sight of it. Hope it doesn’t creep back into your life.

9 Gail { 06.10.11 at 9:57 am }

A post that I’ve liked this week is this one: http://bissingfamily.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/first_time_being_called_twins/

As for the week, I’ve been trying to read and comment, but I just haven’t been feeling the great words in comments and I haven’t wanted to leave something stupid. Maybe I’ll just start commenting that I enjoyed their post and thank them for writing.

10 Lacie { 06.10.11 at 9:59 am }

Yes, I have been listless. Always reading and comment, but the writing hasn’t been flowing lately.

“How can I light a fire under your ass?” Perhaps a daily or even twice per week writing prompt? That would be awesome. I would totally participate. You could do a Stirrup Queen writing workshop where we link up and get a fire lit under our asses.

11 Gail { 06.10.11 at 10:00 am }

Almost forgot about my second favorite post of the week. I thought it was a good way to explain adoption or egg donation, if anyone ever needs that. http://hannahweptsarahlaughed.blogspot.com/2011/06/mommys-garden.html

12 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 06.10.11 at 10:26 am }

Second helping: Two Kayaks has a fabulous post about one-upsmanship in parenting.

13 Searching for Serenity { 06.10.11 at 11:30 am }

*nervous laughter*
I lifted my legs from the floor when I read this. Because if that big black snake is sneaky enough, I bet he could find his way from DC to MN. Yes, I’m that fearful. I couldn’t even click on the picture you linked too. Total scaredycat here.

I’ve noticed the quiet lately too. I mostly thought it was just me. S4S is my sanctuary and I only write when I need to get stuff off my chest. I’ve been doing better the past few weesks, but I still have a lot of crap floating around in my head that I have a hard time putting in writing . I’ve been filtering myself more and more lately because I know my blog isn’t anonymous anymore. I could use a kick in the ass.

14 Sharon { 06.10.11 at 11:38 am }

Definitely noticing the quiet lately. Wasn’t sure if it’s due to blogger glitches, summer vacations or the blogging listlessness you mention.

My husband has a fascination with snakes, especially venomous ones. We live in Arizona, and several friends of ours have houses in areas surrounded by desert and see lots of rattlesnakes, both in their yards and in the surrounding environs. (Interestingly, our neighborhood is also surrounded by desert, but though we’ve seen coyotes in abundance, we’ve never seen a rattler there.) Every time we go to a particular friend’s house nearby, my husband goes out searching for rattlesnakes, and they always find one or two.

So Hubby would have thought it was “really cool” to find a big snake on the front porch. 😉

15 a { 06.10.11 at 12:11 pm }

I was out for a walk one morning, and as I was coming up our driveway, a good-sized snake slithered across my path towards the walkway to the front door. So, what did I do, you ask? I ran inside and got my daughter so she could see the snake too! 🙂 It was harmless, and I didn’t mind because it didn’t sneak up on me – I was not as entertained when it rushed out of its hiding place in the back yard, because it startled me. We also have an “iguana” (salamander) roaming about in our yard. It’s always disconcerting when you think your very creative 4 yo is making up a new story, only to find out that it’s mostly true. I don’t know why we suddenly have all these snakes and lizards!

I’ll be back later to add my interesting read(s). But it certainly has been quiet…

16 Tara (TIMO) { 06.10.11 at 1:00 pm }

I’m taking a summer vacation from blogging. I need to reconnect with myself and with my husband and family.

I only signed on today so that I could put in a post for second helpings. “http://esperanzasays.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/one-year-ago-today/ From Stumbling Gracefully. A beautifully written tribute from a mother to her daughter on her first birthday.

And the snake thing, blech!

17 HereWeGoAJen { 06.10.11 at 1:08 pm }

I just got back from the “Snake Man” program at the library. First of all, I DO NOT LIKE SNAKES. And you should check and see if you have a Snake Guy in your area. Because this guy here called 911 to introduce himself and say that he’d pick up people’s snakes for free. I’m not sure he’ll travel all the way up to pick up your snake, but there is probably someone equally crazy near you who might.

I remembered this week and here is my entry. I picked it because it made me laugh so hard. Katie is describing the carnage after she left her two year old alone for a few minutes to change the baby’s diaper and came back to find that he had crawled up to reach the bottle of chocolate syrup. http://takingthestatisticalbullet.blogspot.com/2011/06/one-of-those-days.html

And yes, the whole blogosphere has been very quiet. I’ve been bored and lonely.

18 JJ { 06.10.11 at 1:58 pm }

EWWWW! I had one of those snakes WRAPPED AROUND MY CAR ENGINE about 3 years ago–talk about a stinky scary mess when I popped the hood to see why it was smoking…..

19 Erica { 06.10.11 at 2:01 pm }

I know I’m in the minority, but I rather like snakes. Which isn’t to say I’d like a big, strange one showing up in my doorway.

Most of my blogging energy is going to working my way through the Right Where I Am posts for baby-lost parents that Angie started at Still Life with Circles – http://stilllifewithcircles.blogspot.com/2011/05/right-where-i-am-project-two-years-five.html There are well over 100 of them now, and while I’m deeply sad at how many of us there are, I just keep finding myself amazed and humbled as I read the posts.

20 Rachel { 06.10.11 at 2:03 pm }

I love the idea of an infertile nursing home! I’m also a big fan of separate infertile and fertile waiting rooms at the gyno.

21 loribeth { 06.10.11 at 3:19 pm }

Re: great posts this week: I will second/third/whatever the wonderful posts that continue to be written for Angie’s “Right Where I Am” project.

Also, Just Two Lines Away had a post that wasn’t written this past week, but was (finally!) read by me. ; ) The image of a bunch of girls playing football in the rain & having a blast makes me smile, & it has stuck with me all week:


(The newspaper story she is referring to is the same one I ran in my blog: http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.com/2011/05/article-good-enough-life.html )

22 Lut C { 06.10.11 at 3:29 pm }

So the listlessness is general? I thought I had managed to offend or bore the remainder of my readers.
Thanks for including me in the roundup, I was starting to feel disconnected a bit and was thinking I needed to get out there and discover more blogs. This is a good opportunity.

I deeply dislike snakes too by the way.

23 N { 06.10.11 at 4:54 pm }

omfg I would have freaked out, too.

I’m here and actually posting more than ever. heh. But I think people are just out-of-doors and doing things away from the intarwebs.

24 Katie { 06.10.11 at 4:56 pm }

I would die. We live in Florida, so snakes are common, but the sight of ANY snake terrifies me. I can’t imagine one that big being so close to my house.

I’ve been fairly MIA from blogging lately. I’m depressed/stressed and I can’t seem to find my mojo.

25 Mali { 06.10.11 at 5:48 pm }

Wow, I made the Round-up!

Just think of the freedom at an infertile nursing home. No competition between us over whose children/grandchildren visit most often, or have the biggest houses, most successful careers, most off-spring, etc.

26 Keiko { 06.10.11 at 6:08 pm }

It’s not just you – it’s definitely been quiet in the blogosphere. As others have mentioned – a lot of pg losses this past week out in blogland… it’s so sad right now and I think a lot of people are just holding that grief right now.

As for snakes: totally legit fear. I can respect that. We had a python loose on the T up here (our subway system) for a month. A MONTH. They found it in the same car it was originally lost in. Yeah, I drove that month b/c the idea of taking the Red Line and running into a python? Hahanothankyou.

Blogs This Week:
Oak at The Elusive Embryo writes Who Is This Person?: a gorgeous post about the overwhelming love she has for her new baby and simultaneous flood of fears of being a new parent.

Melissa at (In)fertile Myrtle writes The Pink: a short but moving post about the range of emotions that come with yet another period. It’s not even the full heavy bleeding, but that first hint – the pink – that plunges her into the sorrow and hurt.

27 jjiraffe { 06.10.11 at 7:01 pm }

Thanks for including me in the round-up!

That story scared the crap out of me and reminded me of the time that a snake chased me up the garden path. They can slither fast! I made it to the front door and slammed it. Then I looked out the window, and it was at the door. Waiting. For me. Ahhhhh!

It was actually really weird. What did it want from me, anyway? I hope your snake is long gone…

28 luna { 06.10.11 at 7:42 pm }

thanks, mel. xo

that snake would have freaked just about anyone out. yikes!

29 Gurlee { 06.10.11 at 8:42 pm }

Mel, I am not laughing at you, well maybe I am and I know that is not nice so I’m sorry but you had me laughing out loud! I am indifferent towards snakes, I’d rather not be up close & personal with them but I have held a few & think they are cool.
I have been on a blog hiatus, 3rd ivf & I’m trying to do the impossible & forget about it!

30 Justine { 06.10.11 at 10:16 pm }

I’ve just read my son the chapter in the first Harry Potter book where the window disappears and the snake slithers past, saying “Brazil, here I come …. thanksssss, amigo.” 😉 Got any wizards living in your house?

I’m listless because it’s hot and because I’m not cooking enough new things lately. And oh yeah … I’m dog tired because my four month old daughter is teething. But I’m still commenting … so I’m glad that there are other people still publishing! 🙂

31 coffeegrl { 06.10.11 at 10:23 pm }

argh! Snakes! That would freak me out- esp. the totally unexpected nature by which it occurred! Thanks for sharing. I love the project idea from Too Many Fish to Fry. And that Pampers commercial. I just love to see what people are thinking about and sharing…

32 ~C~ { 06.10.11 at 10:56 pm }

Last year, my mom went to grab her laptop off the couch and didn’t realize until her hand was inches away that the thing coiled next to it was not, in fact, the laptop cord but rather a black snake napping on the couch (how it got up there, no one knows) and basking in the electronic warmth of the laptop. She had to call my dad home from work to get that thing back outside. ::: shudder :::

Also, re: listlessness, yeah that’s a good word. I’ve been very listless and ho-hum in my posting and commenting lately, and it’s not being helped by the fact that blogger’s been such an asshole lately.

33 Esperanza { 06.10.11 at 11:34 pm }

When I saw your tweets about the snake I figured it was a small corn snake or something, not some huge black python! Eek! I would have been sh!tting myself. I’m glad it slithered off into the sunset never to return.

You’re right, the blogosphere has been extra quiet lately. I refresh my reader constantly and nothing shows up. I don’t like it when no one posts, it makes me feel lonely and bored and sad. Boo hoo, I’m being so whiny right now, but that is how I feel.

I also feel like a lot of people are in a rut right now. I am. Many of my colleagues are (but maybe that is just the end of the year – summer started today! Whoo hoo!) Many of my blogging buddies seem similarly listless. I don’t know what it is but a general feeling of melancholy seems to be falling over everyone. Maybe it’s all the losses in the community of late. Maybe it’s just life kind of wearing us down. Maybe it’s just the natural ebb and flow of energy. Who knows? It’s strange when it seems to be ubiquitous though.

I know I’ve felt kind of “meh” about blogging ever since I realized I couldn’t afford BlogHer ’11. I was so amped about it and now I can’t go and I’m kind of losing my blogging spark as a result. I’m sure it will return, but I’ll probably take some down time while that happens.

I hope you have a good weekend with your family!

34 Kristin { 06.11.11 at 12:27 am }

The snake wouldn’t have phased me but Vic would have tried to shoot the thing. He is terrified of snakes.

I’ve noticed the slow down of commenting and reading. I’m still posting a ton.

As for posts worth reading, check out this one from herewegoajen … http://herewegoajen.com/?p=1954

35 sushigirl { 06.11.11 at 6:29 am }

I think I probably just wouldn’t leave the house again if I saw a snake at my door. I think I would stand on a chair in the kitchen and scream a lot. It wouldn’t be very helpful, but I’d feel better.

Although, weirdly, my husband opened the door one morning to find a rat sleeping on our doormat. And we live in an apartment block with doors at the bottom of the stairs.

36 Lacie { 06.11.11 at 8:19 am }

Hi Mel,
There is a birthmother, Elizabeth, who started commenting on my blog. I started following her blog and, well, her posts are honesty, and tear-inducing and well-written, and just really good.

I think that everyone in our community would truly benefit from reading through her perspective. She is truly amazing.

Here is the blog post that encouraged me to post about here here. I asked her if it was okay to share, and she e-mailed me with her permission.

37 Michaela { 06.11.11 at 10:51 am }



HOLY CRAP!! Just the thought of doing that is freaking me out!!

38 missohkay { 06.11.11 at 11:52 am }

Thank you so much for linking to me. For second helpings, my favorite this week was Trinity writing eloquently as always on “community”

39 Stimey { 06.11.11 at 12:03 pm }

Your snake story scared me so very badly that I almost couldn’t breathe while reading it. And I LIKE snakes. I’m still a little shaky. So glad you survived.

40 JustHeather { 06.11.11 at 4:48 pm }

I’m not sure how I would have reacted with such a huge snake at my doorstep, but in general I like snakes. My brother and I used to catch garter snakes in our aunt’s yard and take them home to our garden. Funny how there was always more for us to catch each visit.

I too have noticed the blog-world is quite quiet. I’ve been reading a lot and replying when I feel I have something to say, but then I feel that I am posting too much on my own, because it is so quiet. Having a crazy work week doesn’t help either. Nor does +25-30C weather! Our computer stays off until too late at night and then it is just best if I go to bed.

41 a { 06.11.11 at 8:27 pm }

Mrs. Spit has been…floundering a bit lately, and this one is about her job situation. But I think it relates to life in general too.


42 marilyn { 06.12.11 at 11:28 am }

I would have been scared too with that snake! That is so scary. I agree with you..no one is commenting on my posts any more. I thought it had to do something with me geting a bfp and now I am not int he infertility group. But I still am! I still have stress and PIo shots and estrogen shots! I am still very much being effected.

43 Heather { 06.12.11 at 5:30 pm }

I totally need a fire lit under my ass. I constantly feel like I’m the debbie downer and I need to be nicer.

Or something

Also, I totally agree…the only good snake is a dead one. I had a similar situation a few years ago. I was on the phone with my best friend at the time (who was at work). The snake reared his head at me and I lost my shit. Her coworkers thought they should call 911 because I was being abused.

Stupid snakes

44 loribeth { 06.13.11 at 2:23 pm }

I stumbled onto this amazing blogger (who also represents The Elusive Male Perspective) via Angie’s Right Where I Am project and Glow in the Woods. He & his wife lost their baby girl in March and could use some support from our community. This is one of his posts from this week:


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