1.  I’m hot and cold when it comes to podcasts.

2.  Ones I’ve burned straight through: 1619Nice White Parents, and a nearly compulsive urge to stay current on The Rachel Maddow Show.

3.  Lately I’ve been cooking along to We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle. I’ve only made it through a handful of episodes but it’s terrific.

4.  There’s “BOUNDARIES: Are too few (or too many?) why we stay stuck?” My favorite part from its description is “My quirkiest boundary and how I finally fired Texts as the Boss of Me.”

5.  ⬆️ That right there. Can someone teach me to fire texts, too??

6.  There’s also “INFIDELITY: How do we trust — and fully love — again?” Heavy but an important discussion.

7.  My personal favorite so far is “FUN: What the hell is it and why do we need it?”

8.  Abby sat in to confront Glennon and her sister about their inability to have fun and I have to say this is 100% my favorite episode so far. I kept saying things like so THAT’S why I love watching U.S. Women’s soccer! and whoa, she’s right, I don’t know how to have fun.

9.  I’ve been in a gloom lately. I took that podcast to heart, though, and blasted music all the way to my doctor’s appointment yesterday.

10.  Science is right, fun did help my mood.

11.  I like NPR as much as the next girl but I think I need to crank the tunes more often.

12.  We had some excitement around here this week.

13.  Bear was feeling puny so she was sleeping away most of the day in her room. Sometime around 11:30pm I get one simple text: “is something burning?”

14.  I think we can all agree that’s never a good question to hear inside a house but y’know, life. I explained we’d made popcorn earlier and maybe that’s what she smelled. Case closed.

15.  Until these texts come in ten minutes later: “could you come up here actually” “i’m like obsessing over it” [No, the girl doesn’t use punctuation in her texts, don’t get me started.]

16.  She might not believe in punctuation but she has an excellent instinct for things being off. I went upstairs.

17.  Sure enough, I smelled burning. Cue checking all light switches and unplugging anything in the outlets.

18.  When that scored a big fat nothing I recruited BrightSide to join us.

19.  Side note: You know what’s great about BrightSide? He functions at the same logic baseline regardless of food intake, time of day, or how much sleep he’s had. It’s a life skill. One I am seriously lacking but oh well.

20.  He joined the Great Smoke Hunt in earnest. He tracked it to the attic and I swear, when I walked in there I would have sworn something in the room had burst into flame.

21.  Again, it’s inching toward midnight and my brain is functioning accordingly. I’m stumbling across the attic wondering how on earth something we’ve stored up there could have spontaneously combusted on this Monday evening. I’m also randomly remembering that time the smoke detectors ganged up on us but I digress.

22.  BrightSide puts together that maybe it’s coming from outside. Some folks might write it off at that point but the smell really was strong in Bear’s room. I had serious concerns.

23.  Those amplified by 1000 when I stepped out my front door to see smoke swirling up the side of our porch steps.

24.  The smoke was so much worse outside, too — acrid stuff that made it hard to breathe and stung my eyes. I peeked around the edge of the porch and was more than a little alarmed to see smoke pouring out from under a bush by our dining room window.


26.  But you know what we own? As responsible homeowners? A fire extinguisher. Even better, a fire extinguisher that I could actually lay hands on in thirty seconds flat.

27.  I’m not gonna lie, there have been times when I’ve randomly wondered if I’d remember where to find them in a crisis. Guess I’ve got that answer now, don’t I.

28.  So I grab the one from our kitchen and hustle back outside where BrightSide’s pulling back the bush so I — ME!!! — can put out the fire.

29.  Seriously, I am all I am woman, hear me roar but even I took pause in that moment to think seriously? You’re seriously gonna trust me not to screw this up when I see smoke and actual embers down there? Well, here goes nothing.

30.  It’s possible there may have been a bit of overkill involved. Residue covered the burning patch of mulch then extended most of the way down the flower bed.

31.  Then again it was midnight, I was experiencing my virgin voyage with a fire extinguisher, adrenaline was pumping, and smoke was searing my eyeballs. I think we can forgive a little overkill with the chemicals.

32.  Because nobody wanted to go to bed without being good and sure this thing was handled BrightSide dumped two buckets of water on the spot for good measure. (The first dose sizzled so I’m thinking that was a good thing.)

33.  In the end we think mulch was partially covering a landscaping light under there. The heat from the bulb had nowhere to go so in the end it seemed to begin melting the plastic canister which was in turn creating hot spots in the mulch.


35.  BrightSide, ever the realist, pointed out that hey, at least the house is brick.

36.  Good lord.

37.  I will say one thing. Burning plastic is atrocious. It took thirty-six hours for my eyes to stop aching and two showers to clear the smell from my hair and skin.

38.  It’s times like these when I especially struggle to interact appropriately in public. I had a PT appointment on Tuesday and I sat kinda shellshocked on the table as he asked how I’m doing.

39.  Finally I was like well, I was outside at midnight putting out a landscape lighting fire and my whole house smells like melting plastic so…there’s that.

40.  Maybe this is life. Maybe there is no normal. Maybe I wouldn’t want normal because what on earth would I write about? Whatever…happy weekend, folks. May your rest be peaceful and your homesteads fire free.