bull snake (also known as a gopher snake)
we came across a 4-5 foot long one of these just laying in the path while rich was running with me and sophie--scared the bejesus out of us!
last week, apart from the tragedy, other significantly less emotional changes occurred: two of our three major steps in our five-year plan for energy independence converged within 48 hours of each other, and we now have both a brand-spankin' new prius AND brand-spankin' new double-paned low-E windows! since rich is about to (possibly) be unemployed in a week and a half, this is not exactly great timing. but, whatever--we were contracted for the windows (which were installed earlier than expected) and we were willing to take a black prius (which moved us way up on the wait list). they both rock, they are both literally cool, and we will just have to figure out how to make payments on nothing. should be interesting. can custom windows get repossessed? now all we need to do is get solar panels and a plug-in kit for the prius and we are done, baby!
rich is still waxing poetic about iowa city. i think this is a grass-is-greener thing. also, summer is by far the most beautiful time to be there, and he is obviously forgetting about the weeks/months/eons of grey and snow and lack of sunshine that the winter bestoweth in iowa. my memory is not so short... i do wish i could have gone with him, though, but there is a slight possibility he/we will return for a temporary stint during his contractually-imposed sabbatical from work. very slight, but a possibility nonetheless. anyway, he said it looks as though the owner of our old house on normandy drive has just given up and is waiting for the buyout (i'm sure he's not alone). i have to say, i am glad that is not our mess to clean up.