It’s not easy being Larry

So I really appreciate all the concern about my pointer finger even though I now have a fear of scorpions and brown recluse spiders that I’ve never had before. And I love y’all for your concern because when I told P last night that I had something on my finger, he replied “A fingernail?”

I also feel that you should know that no one in my real life even called me yesterday to express any condolences for my bad finger even though I know they all read the blog daily. Or maybe that’s just what they tell me. Or maybe they’ve all realized I may have a tendency to sometimes be a hypochondriac and my finger fell in that category.

But the truth is it still hurt. So I decided to take y’alls advice and made a paste out of baking soda to see if it might draw something out. And I put a band-aid over the baking soda paste on my finger because I was in the middle of cooking dinner. But then later I went to take a hot bath so I could soak it in Epsom salts and when I pulled the band-aid off it pulled off the top part of my cuticle. Thus, my finger is in worse shape than ever.

And there’s still no splinter to be found.

I just told this whole tale of woe to P and he told me if I haven’t taken the time to even bother looking at it under a magnifying glass then he doesn’t want to hear about it.

Anyway, I’m sure it will be fine. And I know it’s not a spider bite because one time a spider bit me on my back. I don’t know what kind because I’m not a spiderologist, but it was so painful and created this big blister and in hindsight I probably should have gone to the doctor. However, that’s been at least twelve years ago and it seems to have turned out okay unless you count the times I have an urge to climb the wall of a building using a web I just shot out of my fingers.

And this has nothing to do with anything, but while we’re talking about heights (which technically I was) I have to tell you that yesterday I drove out to a part of town that I don’t frequent because it’s far and I’m somewhat of a hermit. They’ve recently built a new overpass and I’d never driven over it before. I have an irrational fear of driving over a fairly new overpass because it hasn’t been tested by time. What if they built it with a bad batch of concrete or something and it appears to be okay until the 1,000th car drives over it and the whole thing falls?

I’ve also had a recurring dream since I was young where I’m driving over a big overpass and all of a sudden the road ends because it’s still under construction but I didn’t know it and I’m just stuck there on the edge about to fall.

Feel free to analyze that at will.

In other fear and odd creature news, we have a new pet.


He’s an amphibian. Which is a step above a reptile, but equal to an insect in my mind.

Caroline has named him Larry.

P found him on a job site yesterday. He was planting some palms that were brought in from Florida and there was Larry, practically frozen, resting on a palm leaf. Let’s just hope he’s truly a Florida native and not a Cuban refugee because things could get ugly with immigration issues and we could end up as the subject of a Lifetime movie entitled “Not Without My Frog”.

When P walked in with him I was on my way out the door to pick up Caroline from school and he suggested I call Gulley to see if Will might want a pet tree frog because Will has been campaigning for a bearded dragon and free tree frog seems close enough.

(Disclosure: I may or may not have been the one to put the idea of a bearded dragon in Will’s head. He mentioned wanting a pet lizard and I’d just seen a dad walking out of Caroline’s school with a bearded dragon he’d brought in for show and tell and he told me “Bearded dragons are the golden retrievers of the lizard world”. And, in my mind, if you’re going to get a pet lizard you may as well get a friendly one so I told Will about them and the rest is history.)

(Gulley likes to act like this annoys her, but we’ll see who’s annoyed when she walks around with the golden retriever of the lizard world perched on her shoulder.)

Gulley answered the phone and I asked her if Will wanted a pet tree frog and she immediately said, “No. But this is a good way to make sure I quit answering the phone when you call.”

Point taken.

And so P gets out our old crabitat and turns it into a frogitat. By the time I get Caroline home from school, Larry has taken up residence in our kitchen and P is googling “What do you feed a tree frog?”

Crickets. You feed him crickets.

But they have to be alive.

Caroline, of course, was thrilled in that way she’s always thrilled during the first forty-eight hours a new pet enters our lives. If history has taught me anything (other than not to dig in my shoe for pointy things) it’s that eventually Larry will join a long line of neglected animals and I’ll have to set him free in the backyard to roam amongst the hermit crabs.

But in the meantime Caroline kept saying all night, “I can’t believe I have a new pet frog.”

Yes. That makes two of us.

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  1. Susan says

    Good Morning,

    Half the fun is trying to figure out the title of the post — and where the whole thing is going.

    BTW, I have a fear of frogs, I’m not kidding. Add to that now the whole concern about unfinished overpasses. Sheesh.

    Hope the finger/cuticle situation is better. Bless your heart.

  2. Leigh says

    Oh, girl, I hear you on the overpass thing. There a a few really high ones in Houston (I’m looking at you Sam Houston tollway to I-10) that I just can not drive over. Riding over them with someone else driving gives me a sick stomach. I even checked out my route to/through Dallas for dotMom to make sure I wouldn’t encounter an overpass out of my height range.

    >>>eventually Larry will join a long line of neglected animals and I’ll have to set him free in the backyard to roam amongst the hermit crabs.<<< Best line of this post!

    • Stephanie says

      OMG the Sam Houston tollway to I-10 scares me sooo bad! I can’t believe I drove on it when I was a newbie driver…I STILL have nighmares about that bad boy!

  3. Merri Jo says

    HA!! You are SO funny!! While I’m not a fan of slimy, slithery things, I must admit Larry is a fabulous shade of green–& he just might be the fashion forward decor item you need for 2013– Pantone’s color of the year: emerald! :-)

  4. Jana says

    I think I know the overpass of which you speak, and I had the same thoughts a few days ago! I was glad I was not having to take that one but instead managed to get in all sorts of fun traffic!
    Good luck with the tree frog! Hopefully, he’s not the noisy kind!

  5. Vicki B says

    That Gulley is a corker! I actually felt sorry for this frog being all shivery and in shock from an unintentional trip across the U.S.

  6. jenny f says

    You kicked in my bridge fear memory.. I grew up in the San Francisco bay area. I used to be so scared going over the bay bridge because of my fear of an earthquake and the bridge giving way and everyone on the bridge falling into the bay. I had this fear for so many years and I was laughed at. Well guess what happened in the 1989 earthquake? The bay bridge collapsed! Thankfully no one fell into the bay and thankfully there is no bay under your bridge.. Or earthquakes in San Antonio..

    • Melissa D says

      The 1989 San Fransisco earthquake is STILL (to this day) the reason I always choose the top level when the freeway does that high/low thing. We had just moved to San Antonio from northern California (I was 10) and I can picture that bridge coverage like it happened yesterday. I would rather sit in the awful 1604/281 traffic than get on that awful ramp…thankfully I’m not over there often.

    • Cara says

      I live in the Bay Area and the bridges are intense! And,yes, every time I cross the Bay Bridge I repeat in my head “not now not now please not now” hoping an earthquake does not occur.

  7. says

    Seriously, about your finger, have you had your tetanus shot? I know you’ve heard a zillion horror stories, but the woman in this NBC news story is a close friend in our church.
    This is not another “I heard about a woman…”. She is fine now, I know this because I ate dinner with her Monday night. She had soup and a salad – so she is not dead! :) But I wouldn’t let it go too far before seeing the doc.

  8. Gwen says

    I’ve had a similar recurring dreams for YEARS. Drive up a steep, steep hill and the road stops. Like my car is going to fall off stops. Fearful much?

  9. Cindy says

    Good luck with the crickets. When my son was 9 he said that he wanted reptiles for pets. I told him he had to wait until he was 12 and no snakes in my house. When he turned 12 he has not forgotten and still wanted a lizard. We got a crested gecko which is nocturnal and has no eyelids so he licks his eyeballs. We picked that because he did not have to eat crickets every day. So we did not have to also have a cricket habitat and crickets to feed as well as a lizard. anyway, we (I notice I keep saying we and it should be he but it is we that take care of him) mix up this gecko diet powder everyday and he eats that and about 2 days a week he gets crickets. We get them from the reptile store for 5 cents each, cover them with calcium powder and drop them in the tank. I just realized that the gecko probably has a healthier diet than we do. All in all he has not been that hard to take care of and he is sorta cute licking his eyeballs. A tree frog….I don’t know. That could get noisy! how did you sleep?

  10. says

    Bearded dragons are really sweet…the name is a little misleading…I remember really wanting one when I was younger. My dad was all for it, but my mom said no : (

  11. says

    There was a study recently that readers are more empathetic than non-readers. Guess this proves it. :)

    Since someone warned you of tetanus and you’re already worried about bridges (as am I, but I won’t tell you what I really know from talking to a civil engineer who *works* on bridges) I don’t feel like I’m the only alarmist with saying the following: several years ago my husband got a staph infection in his knee, without any apparent injury. If I remember correctly, he had a red swollen knot that wouldn’t go away. Staph infections are more of a problem than they used to be and they can get bad pretty fast, but with antibiotics his cleared up quickly. Still acts up from time to time though – especially when I ask him to do something that involves him being on his knees. :)

    So I’m going to echo Andera@barbellsand buttercream. We’ll look forward to the next post where the doctor ridicules you for getting so worried about a little scratch.

  12. Erin Seaman says

    Just wanted to say thanks to you when I put my socks on this morning and there was a strange lump at the bottom i totally freaked out before figuring out it was just a lump of fuzz. Thanks for that. 😉

  13. Leigh Ann says

    Sadly I have the same bridge fear. My dreams almost always happen when said bridge is over water. This results in me unbuckling my seatbelt any time I drive on a bridge over water……so that if our car runs off the bridge, I can hopefully escape my care more easily. My kids and husband just laugh at me.

    Did the tree frog thing several years ago and found myself at Petco every week buying live crickets. Nightmare.

  14. BethA says

    Well, now you’ve gone and done it. I indicated on IG that I might not be a big fan of a frog for a pet — unsnuggable and all. But now that you’ve told me he was half-frozen on a palm frond, I feel sorry for the little guy and think that you should love him and take care of him and make him a member of the family. However, I’m now thinking that this is all really easy for me to say, right?!?

  15. Marie says

    Yup I agree with Leigh Ann. That frog should have made his way outside before Caroline even got home. Doesn’t that sound so mean? But seriously, a frog?? lol

    People in foreign countries like Texas should always shake out their boots before they put them on. I live in Minnesota and so a “country” where it’s warm all the time seems really foreign to me! We have a snowstorm going on right now and the last one was just this past weekend. And here comes the city plower! yea! I won’t be able to get out till someone plows out the end of my driveway because they plug it in so magnificently. Anyway I do think that something bit you from inside your boot. Yes, I digress wonderfully well.

    There is a new bypass/overpass that has been in my part of the US for about 3 years. Every time I try to get on it and to where I think I am going I end up in a different place. I get so lost on that thing that I hate it to pieces. Life was good before they put up that thing and I curse it every time I have to try to figure it out. Engineers are bad people, just sayin. Keep it simple!

    Hugs from Minnesota

  16. says

    Oh, I thought of something! When a friend was allergic to the antibiotics for an infection the doctor told her to put a heating pad on it for several hours and it did clear up. So next time maybe your post will be that you not only don’t have a cuticle, but you have a blister on your finger.

    What is it about the internet that makes us feel like we can dole out medical advice to perfect strangers? :) I do it because if I thought of it and then didn’t say something that could “save” you then I will be crippled by guilt. Hah!

  17. says

    I can handle driving over bridges and overpasses… as long as they’re short. Being STOPPED on them gives me heart attacks. I once went over the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway and I didn’t realize that I was trying to hold my breath the whole time until I nearly passed out.

    Frogs are cute. They aren’t much trouble. My son is gunning for a beardie as well, and I keep putting him off. I can’t do that for much longer, though, or I’ll wind up caring for the thing after he goes to college. Thankfully they only live a couple of years. Still, I’d rather have that than the tarantula that he’d also like to have. No spider voluntarily lives in my house.

  18. Jenn H. says

    My family and I are just home from a driving trip to San Antonio to visit my in laws. (We live in CA). As we got closer to their house, I COULD. NOT. BELIEVE. the freeway construction/overpasses that had sprung up since our last visit- and yes, they are REALLY high. And have made traffic in the area a goal nightmare….

    I love when you post tidbits about SA and I actually know what you’re talking about. I was totally on board with the whole “my Target closed” catastrophe. 😉 And every time I drive past the Quarry, I think of you out finding Fashion Friday tips. :)

    Hope your finger heals quickly!!

  19. Kimberly/OKC says

    Wow, it looks like you have touched on a subject many people think about…and closely relates to my deepest darkest nightmare I used to have when my kids were small. Ugh, it’s scary to even write about (someone should put this scene in a movie–but I wouldn’t go!) but the dream begins when I am driving across a bridge over water with my two small children strapped in their car seats when the bridge collapses and we fall deeep into the water…then I wake up and desperately try to figure out how to get my kids out of their car seats and out of the car window…do I open the door as I sink? Do I wait till the car fills up with water? What if it is cold water? Does the older know how to tread water well enough? Do I choose to save one and hope the other makes it? I can’t go on…Okay…why did I even type all this? Now you know I’m crazy. Thank God one is 16 and the other 17 and we made it without living thru this scenario.

  20. Taylor says

    You are, hands down, the funniest person. On the planet. Seriously, I just laughed out loud about 3 times in my office!

  21. Cindy says

    Sorry about your finger! How annoying it is when you have a pain without seeing the source!
    I involuntarily shiver each time I go over a matter what it’s size. I have no idea why…maybe a past life memory resurfacing?!
    And thanks for the laughs. Like Taylor above, I laughed out loud so many times while reading this one post. You certainly brighten my day!

  22. Casey says

    Speaking of fears, your blog has a new advertisement that says “Kill the Roach and you win”. I now have a pad of sticky notes by my bed that I put over the right side of my screen when I read your post so that roach running up and down the side doesn’t freak me out!!!! I can’t go without reading your blog so that is my solution :) Hope your finger gets better and you warm up to little tree frog!

  23. Connie says

    Please see your doctor. As everyone has said staph is not anything to fool around with. My husband had the same type experience when he had a tiny red spot and ignored it for several days. It wasn’t getting better and finally I nagged him to the doctor. He needed a tetnus shot and antibiotics.

    Also remember Kelly Stamps from Kelly’s Corner? She had the dreaded mersa earlier this year. So go girl and get HELP!!!!

    Also those lizards are lots of work. My son’s girlfriend had three. She left the relationship and the lizards did not. So when son was 25, I found myself at the pet store buying crickets at least once a week. A chore I had avoided for his entire childhood….

    Your writing keeps me laughing. I can’t wait to read your book.

  24. Heather F says

    I think we could be best friends!! Dreams of unfinished bridges and hypocondria (is that a word?!?), we have so much in common!! Haha.

  25. Jessica Clarkson says

    I have a bearded dragon and they ARE lots of work. You have to make sure they have very specific lighting (there’s basically only one tube light that is approved for the amount of UVB they need to have) and very specific temperatures. They eat live prey every day… and that live prey needs to be gutloaded to make them nutritious. Also, they need to be bathed every day or at least every other day because their main intake of water is through their vent… better known as their butt. In addition to live bugs (crickets, dubia roaches, or phoenix worms are best for younger dragons), they need to be offered green leafy vegetables daily, even though they’ll mostly refuse them until they get older.

    Also, if you feed them crickets, they are more susceptible to parasites because crickets are very dirty bugs… they die easily, and then the other crickets eat the rotting ones (yes, they do rot), and then the lizard eats the crickets, and get parasites… if you’re not careful. Careful means reaching in and picking out all the dead crickets at least once daily, and attempting to keep cricket poop out of the bin as much as possible.

    ALSO, if you drop crickets into the lizard’s cage for him to eat, you have to pick them all out or the crickets will munch on the beardie over night. Which is why we put the lizard in the cricket bin to eat.

    AAAALSO… they have specific bedtimes. You have to have the lights on a timer, for the same times, every day. Which then means you have to remove all food from the cage 2 hours prior to lights out because they need 2 hours to digest or the food will rot in their tummies.

    All that said, I love my beardie to death and I wouldn’t trade any of that work for the world. But it is a very big job.

  26. Brenda says

    Thought of you last night because I went to Beth Moore’s new study on “Children of the Day” last night in Houston and was so blessed by it! I was hoping you would be volunteering so I could meet you in person. My daughter wants to volunteer for her organization as well.

  27. Jeanie says

    You guys surely are going to give me nightmares talking about your fear of bridges. My daughter lives in San Francisco, and I travel there at least every other month to visit. Over the Bay Bridge. The looonnng Bay Bridge. They are building a new “earthquake-proof” bridge right next to the old/current one, and I am certain that I don’t want to be one of the first to cross it.

  28. Karen L. says

    I am a Florida native, and we don’t get to see these kinds of frogs anymore, because the Cuban Tree Frogs have taken over. So Larry is a very lucky little guy! “It’s not easy being green”, Kermit once said! Hope your finger feels better!

  29. says

    I guess all moms suffer with having to take care of the kids’ pets. My youngest is pining for a rabbit and has been for over a year. I told him NO!–we already have 2 cats and 1 dog that he and his brother gripe about feeding daily, so more pets are out of the question until (1) one of the current pets dies or (2) he is old enough to do EVERYTHING for the rabbit—because I am not feeding or cleaning up after anything else.
    And the spider bite made me laugh. I have a friend who go bit when she was a college freshman. Rather than going to the doctor. she started drawing a circle, in Sharpie, around the bite everyday so that she could monitor the progress of the bite. And she took pics daily!!! She’s says looking back she should have gone to the doctor after the 3rd circle. LOL

  30. Christi says

    Hey! Those are the “good” type of tree frogs–you don’t see them as much anymore because of all the Cuban frogs taking over. Take good care of it! If it was the bad kind, I would tell you to put it in the freezer–that’s what we do when we find them!

    Hope your finger gets better!

  31. says

    Good luck with Larry…and the live crickets…and that whole urge to shoot webs out of your fingers and climb up the walls of buildings. :)
    I loved this post–literally made me laugh out loud and I very much needed a good laugh today! Thanks for sharing!!

  32. Cathy says

    You had me at: “… mercifully, retired in April of 2007 after way too many years of trying to intelligently answer questions about the pharmacodynamics of various medications and hauling Chinese food around in my car in a futile attempt to appease angry nurses. ”
    I stumbled upon your blog via Ann Voskamp’s link-up today.
    As a retired pharmaceutical rep of 12+ yrs, I laughed aloud at the above quote and immediately pre-ordered your book. Anyone recommended by Ann is good enough for me.
    Looking forward to reading your blog.

  33. says

    My husband wanted a bearded dragon for years, from the time he was a little kid. I got him one for Christmas a few years back. They really are such an easy pet to have!

  34. Kelly says

    I have a mortal fear of all spiders, but especially the dreaded brown recluse, thanks to mind numbing shrieks from my mother as early as I can remember. They dwell in her house, love to hide in shoes and the bottoms of sheets and their bite will cause parts of your skin to rot out and leave gaping holes. Get it checked out by a professional. They are creepy and have long spooky legs and crawl very slowly, menacingly……shudder.

  35. AliciaC says

    I get completely wigged-out from lizards. Bearded dragons will make me run for my LIFE!! It’s going to take awhile to get over the heebie jeebies about the dragon story.

  36. JudyF says

    If it makes you feel better we had a ferret show up in our driveway a couple weeks ago. Now we own a cute little ferret. She was dropped off and no one claimed her, so Lily lives with us and I check the mirror to make sure sucker is still on my forehead.

  37. says

    You made me SNORT with the Spiderman reference. Bahaha!
    The pet frog makes me smile. I live in Florida and there are always several of them stuck to the windows at night. If Larry needs a friend, I’ll peel one off and mail him (her?) to you.