Kat is working as a naturalist at the local nature center, and gets to spend much time with the critters. She’s owned snakes and lizards and all manner of furry, finned, and scaled critters over the years. She minored in biology. She’s not generally squeamish.

Saturday, I’m finally getting the 2007 DVDs ready to ship to far-flung relatives, when I get a call. “There’s an emergency, I can’t get in touch with [Snake Guy] (her boss at the nature center), and I need you to come out here.”  So, I hit the road for the lake, pop in and she’s standing in the middle of the main room, with the door to the reptile room blocked, while she madly dials anyone who can help with the unidentified snake in the room. Last seen heading for a dark corner, the reptile has decided to enliven the morning and cancel a child’s birthday party.

After a couple hours of searching, a snake wrangler in flip flops (!) pulling apart the reptile room, and general panic trying to identify which snakes might be missing (without going into the “venomous” room if avoidable), the little bugger finally decides to reveal himself. It turns out to be a fairly dehydrated water snake. One of the enclosures appeared to be missing a water snake, except that snake died three weeks ago. This one is the same species, albeit much younger and smaller. He broke into the nature center. While we’re trying to figure out which snake had escaped, it turns out this one was a burglar. What are the odds?

Year the Second

Although I’ve been battling a cold since Sunday, yesterday was an especially good day for Us.  Kat first drove down from Lubbock to see me one year ago, on the 14th of May.  To commemorate this momentous occasion, we went for a bicycle ride to the river with The Boy, then for dinner we had fish tacos (her favorite of my cooking thus far), and knocked back a fabulous bottle of Moscat Spumante to finish up the night.  I didn’t even know that spumante was made with muscat grapes, but it was very nice – not at all dry and very very drinkable.

I’ve told her that one anniversary per year is all you get, so next year there will be no date-aversary.  Gotta hold the line somewhere…

Life can be so nice

After a great ceramic show at the museum, where Kat caught up with several fellow artists (and a few students who want extra credit), followed by a wonderful dinner downtown (despite the best efforts of the most inept waiter ever seen), there was a presentation. Kat insists that I inform all and sundry throughout the world, so I will.
Engagement Ring
Yes, she is actually pointing to the ring after having put marker on her finger pointing to the ring as well. Thorough, she is.

October 14th is the big day. We’ll be having a dinner for locals (and whoever wants to travel to the middle of nowhere) on the afternoon of Sunday October 19th, which happens to be my son’s (and sister’s) birthday.

Can you boil water?

Picture this: Kat’s in the kitchen, making herself some pasta. I hear a shout, and go in to see boiling water pouring down the counter and the front of the dishwasher.

Um… What happened?

“I was holding the colander to strain the pasta.”

Did you know it was recently boiling?

So, I now know someone who literally can’t be trusted to boil water. I suspect she does this sort of thing just to ensure I won’t allow her to cook.


The comfort food party went very well. Mashed potatoes and pot roast disappeared like they weren’t even there. Plenty of ham soup for leftovers this week. Yum.

And, the secret dessert can now be revealed. It’s an orange chiffon cake, with mocha butter cream frosting, garnished with sugared rosemary, cranberries, and meringue mushrooms. NovParty_8 It was supposed to have one more sawed-off branch on top, but it was unbalanced and so it went to Alex’s other house with him, along with some meringue mushrooms. He was very happy.

And everyone liked Kat.