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I Photographed a Snake and Did Not Die

Yesterday I was inside trying to take selfie-photo’s to prove that I do actually get dressed once in a while, when Jim started yelling, “Lily! Lily! Bring some scissors.” So I got some scissors and ran outside to see what the commotion was all about. That’s when I noticed a snake all caught up in my garden netting. I held onto a tree for moral and physical support. My chickens were dancing around it like the no-brained birds they are. I just kept breathing slowly. I really didn’t want to faint and land on the ground…eye to eye with the snake.

Bull snake trapped in the garden netting.
Bull snake trapped in the garden netting.

Jim assured me it was a Bull snake and not a rattlesnake. Tiny-Small was dancing with the chickens randomly telling the snake, “You be Ok snake! You be OK, Boy!” I don’t know how she and Jim knew it was a boy, but still…I mostly felt like fainting and what the heck do I now about snake sexing anyway? I do not like snakes. I dream about snakes and those dreams are nightmares. Scary nightmares with snakes exploding out of toilets and snakes filling up my imaginary basements. Snakes make my feet feel all tingly and I feel like I can’t move or breath or run away fast enough. I know other people love snakes, like my husband and his friend Chuck. They LOVE snakes. It’s just my luck, and his too I suppose, that we found each other and got married. I suppose this is what they mean by “opposites attract” …maybe. I mean, at least I never have to wrangle a snake out of the garden on my own, right? Unfortunately for Jim, I had to put my foot down when he thought it would be cool to keep the snake as a pet. I am pretty sure I would have a heart attack the first time the snake went missing, and they always go missing. I watch TV, I’ve heard about snakes on a plane.

Anyway, Jim kept cutting the netting off of the snake and then the snake would squirm into the netting even more. Just thinking about all of that squirming makes me feel a little nauseous. It took a really long time to cut the netting off of the poor snake. I felt terrible, but also really grateful that Jim happened to be home and that he was the one to discover the snake. Now I am worried about rattlesnakes sneaking into my space. I foolishly thought the dogs, cats, and screaming, banshee child would keep them all at bay, but now I know for sure that snakes can and will slither into my garden unannounced. I may never sleep peacefully again.

Jim holding the bull snake.
Jim holding the bull snake.

After Jim got the snake out of the netting he asked if I wanted to touch it. I wanted to scream, “Are you kidding me? Do I look like I want to touch that thing?” Instead I smiled and I touched the snake…twice. As much as I don’t like snakes I don’t like looking like a wuss even more. I didn’t faint and I didn’t die. Phew! Then Jim asked Tiny-Small if she wanted to touch the snake and she said, “No thanks.” I was relieved when she said no because I don’t want her touching random snakes in the wild. That could be dangerous around here. I also don’t want her to be scared of snakes like am so I tried to be brave in front of her. That is hard because I really wanted to run in circles screaming, “Ohhh my gawd! A snake! It’s going to kill us all!”  Nobody told me becoming a mother also meant I had to act like a princess in shining armor all the time or that I have to put my fears aside for the sake of my child. I guess nobody talks about that too much before you have kids because then people probably wouldn’t have kids. I mean, if someone had told me I would have to touch snakes, pick up spiders, and clean poop off the floor so often, Tiny-Small might have just been a gleam in her father’s eye forever.

Being the blogger and documentarian that I am, I mostly hid behind my camera taking pictures and making movies. It felt safer that way. Plus, now I can tell people I photographed a snake and did not die. I can’t wait to put that under the “bragging rights” section of my Google plus profile. Take that world! I pet snakes like a boss.


Want to read about other dead-eyed beasts that scare me to death? Try this: Have I Mentioned My Absurd Fear Of Sharks?


I Thought My Car Was Haunted

The other day I went to the grocery store, packed everything in the back and latched Tiny-Small into her car seat. Off we went. Then, I heard this creepy thumping. Like a dead body was rolling around in my car. I thought my car was haunted.

I guess I jumped to that conclusion because Jim was completely convinced our old house was haunted and due to some recent weird experiences, I have had haunting on the brain. I usually tend to be the skeptic in the family so the whole haunting thing is still up in the air for me, but Jim did have some compelling evidence about our old house. One time, in the old house, the back door kept opening and closing by itself. It was like someone else was letting the dogs in and out. They loved it. I thought it was creepy to come into the room and see the door wide open and watch it close as the last dog ran out into the backyard. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, we would hear music playing. Old-timey music. That was strange too. Jim claims someone slapped him on the butt once when he got out of the shower. I don’t know about that one, I kind of chalk that experience up to wishful thinking. We did have some random words that would show up in the shower steamed mirror though, no matter how many times I washed it. I used to hope, if we did have a ghost, that she would like to wash dishes and fold laundry. Oh yeah, we referred to her as a “her” because Jim claimed she called on the phone once and whispered her name to him. I don’t know about that one either, but who am I to contradict someone? I wasn’t there when it happened.  Jim might have been just pulling my leg too. Still, I can’t help thinking that having a ghost who likes to clean things would be like hitting the ghost jackpot. It would be like winning some sort of cosmic lottery. I still fantasize about a cleaning ghost to this very day.  I know that kind of haunted house is probably too good to be true, but still, a girl can dream, right?.

The truth is, that old house just had a yucky, depressing feeling about it. It was dark. If a house was going to be haunted, it would be that one. I wasn’t a fan. My husband had bought it before we were married. I secretly couldn’t wait to sell it and move out. There was something unsettling about it. I would sometimes have the feeling I was being watched while I was sitting on the couch in the living room, but who knows, it may have all been my overactive imagination. Except, even now, when I drive past it, the dark windows give me an uncomfortable feeling. I really disliked that house. The new owners have painted it a dark muddled, purple so now it looks even creepier than it did before. We take bets on how many years it takes before the new owners put a for sale sign on the lawn.

That’s why I was so happy when we moved to the dome. Lots of light and happy feelings. No ghosts, imaginary or otherwise, but then, a few weeks ago someone knocked on our front door in the middle of the night. At least, that is what it sounded like. A soft knock on the front door. The dogs went bark-o-matic on us. Jim went to investigate, but there was nobody at the door. It was creepy. I made sure Tiny-Small was safe and sound and all the windows were shut and locked. Then I pretended to go back to sleep for the rest of the night. In the morning we discussed the knock. Jim was convinced it was a ghost. He figured it was the old lady who had built this house with her husband. She died recently. Jim figured she wanted to come home, but couldn’t get inside. AGAIN…Creepy. This is why I don’t allow Jim to watch horror movies. Remember that movie Paranormal Activity? I spent the majority of the movie convincing Jim it wasn’t an actual documentary. He kept forgetting it wasn’t real. I am sure he woke up in the middle of the night for weeks after watching it,  just to make sure I wasn’t standing over him for hours every night. Anyway, I’d rather think it was just some drunk college kids playing a prank on us in the middle of the night than a ghost. We know they hang out on the mountain behind our house. We’ve seen the beer can evidence. That option is better than an actual haunting from a lady who is probably really cranky from having to wait outside her own house…for weeks now.

Anyway, back to why I thought my car was haunted. The quick answer is the knock on my door in the middle of the night had primed my imagination for the worst. The long answer is that I couldn’t figure out what was causing the thumping and the only logical conclusion was that my car was being haunted, obviously. The thumping sounded hollow and menacing.

When we got home I opened the back door and found my ghost. It was a watermelon. I am just glad it didn’t split open when it rolled and banged into the sides of my car. Good grief! I mean, seriously. I am losing my mind, right? Go ahead and say it. I know it’s true. Watermelon ghosts…they are the worst kind.

My car was haunted by a watermelon and my overactive imagination for exactly ten minutes the other day. I am glad that is over with. Now I can get back to being my regular, goofy self instead of a haunted person destined to star in some hokey remake about my life on The Learning Channel. Dodged a bullet that time!

Have you ever thought you were being haunted?


The Artist Formerly Known As…

The other day was my birthday so Jim took me out to lunch. Just the two of us! Seriously, we haven’t been anywhere alone together since our December 31st wedding anniversary. We don’t get out much because I can’t seem to find a babysitter that will actually show up. Maybe all of the babysitters in town read my blog and see that picture of Tiny-Small screaming and just get real, real scared or something. I don’t know, but other people have weekly date nights and we have bi-annual date nights. I am not complaining, at least not too loudly, because I am sure some couples out there don’t get date nights at all.

Artist Formerly known as Lillian Connelly
Background Step 1

You’d think since we don’t get out much that we would have intense adult conversations about important things, but no, we talk about silly stuff and spend as much time as possible laughing. We save the serious conversations for right before bed, to ensure we get the least amount of sleep as possible. This lunch date was no different, we talked about ridiculous things:

Jim: Did you hear Snoop Dog changed his name to “Snoop Panther”?

Me: Wait, I thought he changed it to Snoop Lion.

Jim: Really?

Me: Yeah. What if I changed my name? Like to, “The Artist Formerly Known As Lillian Connelly.” I want to be like Prince.

Jim: What if you changed it to “Princess Lion” instead? Although that kind of sounds like animal porn.

Me: Animal porn?!

Jim: Yeah, porn for animals. Princess Lion would be the star.

We were sitting on the same side of the table facing the window because that seemed sort of romantic (and also because we can’t hear what the other person is saying when we sit across from each other). We couldn’t hear (mostly) because it was a noisy, crowded restaurant, but also because we’re both going deaf. Jim with old age (haha) and me from listening to Nirvana too loudly on my Walkman in high school. Stupid teenage angst.

Background step 2 where I make it more intense by trying to tone it all down.

Just then, as we were laughing about my animal porn star name, a man with a motorcycle drove by in front of us nice and slow like. His dog was sitting in front of him, on the motorcycle. Jim and I both went silent and then burst out laughing. It was like a sign from the animal porn gods or something.

mermaid art painting
Coral Reef Mermaid progress shot Formerly known as: Step 3

So, please, refer to me from now on as The Artist Formerly Known as Lillian Connelly or as Princess Lion…soon to be “The Artist Formerly Known As Princess Lion.” Also, please do not take your dog for a ride on your motorcycle. Let’s leave those antics for the animal porn stars. They’ve been trained to do this nonsense, obviously.


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