7 Quick Takes Friday!

Hello! Sorry for the silencio this week…it’s remarkable how little I’ve gotten unpacked, for someone who’s spent every day “unpacking”. I suspect I’ve devoted a large portion of the day to “procrastination and staring out the window watching the alligators”. Maybe.

Yeah, there really are alligators in the canal behind our house. RIGHT behind our house. Usually you can only see their little snouts raise up a tiny bit out of the water, but the other day I saw a scaly tail slithering back into the canal, and just now I saw a freaky-looking clawed arm disappear back into the deep. Cool, huh? Also, terrifying.

Of Course
I was going to try and make a loose connection about fairy tales coming true or something so that this picture would have a reason to be here, but let’s be honest. It’s gratuitous eye candy. You’re welcome. Also, I love them.
being me, I decided that the best way to keep Charlotte and Sienna away from the canal (since alligators happen to prefer small children for snacking) (I’m serious) was to scare the ever-loving pants off of them. 
So a few days ago I took the kids outside and described in detail just how an alligator would tear them limb from limb and carry them into the water and eat them. 
I think Sienna thought that would be a grand adventure, but Charlotte was so terrified that she now clings to my legs anytime the screen door opens so much as an inch. Liam just kept making breaks for the canal, shouting, “Wa-wa! Ba!” (water, bath)
Obviously this is a work in progress, and until they get it the backyard is off-limits. Also, I’m going to go back on everything I ever said about leashes and buy some for Liam. 
Here’s My New Philosophy on Child-Rearing
Leashes: Better Than Being Eaten By An Alligator
Speaking Of Back Yards
we have neighbors in possession of some of the awesomest children in existence. Their mother just had a baby two days ago, and yesterday the oldest boy was out in his back yard. We came out and said hi and I asked him how he liked his new little sister. 
He sort of sized me up and then said a little pugilistically, “She’s the cutest of all the babies in the world.” 
I’m not sure if he was expecting disagreement, but I kept my laughter internal and told him that I was sure she is. 
It was awesome.
Just to give you some perspective on how cool these kids are, the first day we moved in their oldest, a ten-year-old girl, came over and offered to read to the kids while I unpacked. 
That in itself is amazing enough, but when I asked her her name and then complimented her on how lovely it was, she said, “It’s Shakespeare.”
Right? Right? There has never been greater neighbors than these. Their nerdiness might even equal our own. Maybe.
So Yesterday
I went to the doctor. It actually wasn’t a trip to fulfill my latest hypochondriac delusions, which this week had me alternating between “heart attack” and “lung cancer” to explain the not-so-mysterious back pain I’ve been suffering after moving boxes and re-adjusting to our mattress, which the Ogre has had in his possession in Vegas. 
Actually, I just needed my asthma medicine refilled. 
But let me tell you what, I felt like Laura Ingalls taking the covered wagon to the big city. No lie. 
The nearest proper city is a solid hour drive. It’s a lovely drive, past orchards and weird spindly tall trees and unconquered forests and fields. But still, it’s an hour drive. I was ever-so-slightly annoyed until I actually reached the big city. 
It Seems

that I’ve really taken to the small town mentality, as I was actually surprised when people in Naples didn’t wave and say hello. 
I was. It was weird. After all, up until recently I lived in Las Vegas, where the friendliest people are the craps dealers. And here I was, being taken aback when the pharmacist walked away in the middle of my story about how long it took me to drive from Ave Maria to Naples. 
I mean, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, as it was a boring story, but still. That was mean, I thought to myself. No one would do that in Ave Maria.
And then, after waiting for an hour for the pharmacist to put my inhalor in a box due to the absolute swarm of octogenarians looking for the best — no, the very best — calcium supplement, I remembered that we had moved to Florida. 
It’s weird, but Ave Maria somehow seems to exist separately from the state of Sunshine, Oranges and Retirees. It’s like its own little universe, suspended within a shining ball of sunshine, friendly neighbors, college students willing to babysit, and the best fish and chips on the planet.
And Then
right there in the pharmacy, I thought, there’s no place like home.
We lived in Vegas for three years and I never felt at home there. There were things that I came to love, like the peculiar charm of the desert plants, or the spectacular sunsets framed by the mountains, but it wasn’t home. 
Ave Maria has worked its magic on me, that’s for sure. I love this place, sticky horrible humidity, alligators, mosquitoes and all.
And now, because I feel kind of awkward waxing sentimental on Quick Take Friday, I leave you with this spectacular bit of hilarity
Also, I’d like a Snuggie for my birthday. Really. I’m the only person on the planet that doesn’t have one. 
But I’d like mine to come with the Venetian mask and tea kettle.
Go see Jen for more quick takes!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04444704944288002925 The Ranter

    I'm glad you all are settling in! :-) Totally off-topic, but I had a nasty comment this week, and I finally knew what you meant when you were talking about comments upsetting you. It was awful! My stomach was churning, and I couldn't eat. :-( Anyway, have a great weekend!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06221464682706193091 healthily sanguine

    lol, I was going to comment that I could send you a Snuggie, as I have an extra (with monkeys on it), but I got sidetracked by the hilarity of that other blog. Wow! :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06628206579067878095 Sarah

    I've been on a Laura Ingalls Wilder nerd kick lately – did you know that she and Almanzo lived in Florida briefly, but couldn't handle the snakes and humidity? Laura even carried a gun because she was afraid of her redneck neighbors. So you totally have one up on Half-Pint.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01659200420621854710 Maggie

    Sigh… I dream of a day of feeling "at home." But then I read stuff like that Snuggie text blog and all is right with the world. :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09814098744738613953 Kat

    I can't wait to see my kids doting on their forthcoming sibling, now that they are old enough to dote. They already sing him songs, kiss him, and have long conversations with him in my tummy.

  • Corita

    Ave Maria sounds….nice….I guess. People who are overly friendly make me feel extremely cranky.I hope you get your Snuggie! Please post pictures of you wearing it around town. Wait- don't you have to drive in golf carts or something?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15778596300503008018 J M Yaceczko

    OH MY. That was so funny.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07137080807945525006 Cam

    I've spent the last six months terrifying our kids of alligators too. Now I just have to throw out an occasional, "make sure to keep your hands and feet inside the wagon, so the alligators don't get them" when we walk by a lake near our house, and the three year old starts looking around for them while the 18 month old lets out a scream. Naples is soooooooooo much less friendly than Ave. I wish the law school was in Ave. I'd much rather have the community there, then all the amenities in Naples. And almost getting hit by those retires every time (or at least what feels like every time) I try to cross the street doesn't help my love of this place either!

  • Lady Harriet

    Haha, I think I know which family you're talking about. Those kids are a hoot. Their dad was my professor one year, and he told a story of how his kids wanted him to go into their backyard and do battle with an alligator there. :) Make sure you introduce yourself to the elderly couple named Ernie and Mary who live near there too–the husband has one arm and the wife is Irish, and they have a white huskie. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. My mom just moved to Ave too (she got a job as head of the first-year academic support program.) I'll tell her to keep an eye out for you and say hi.

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