We've had an inordinate amount of rain the last three weeks. Not that I'm complaining. A) I love rain. and 2) every day of rain and colder temperatures means only that one further day away are the one-hundred degree days with ninety-eight percent humidity. A lot of people, upon learning I grew up in the desert, express jealousy because "sure it was hot there, but it's a dry heat." To which I always respond, "bite me." Because once it gets above one hundred and twenty and you get in your car and find that you can't even TOUCH the steering wheel and all the plastic jewel cases to your CDs have MELTED, then come back and tell me how a dry heat is soooo bearable. Better yet, go stick your head in an oven after you've baked a loaf of bread in there and then try to drive that oven to Scottsdale to make it to work on time and presentable.

The truth is summers in Washington aren't much better, they're just different. You walk outside bright and clean after a shower in the morning and then by noon, you need another shower because you feel like you've amassed another inch of skin thickness in sweat and grime. Then you'll want to take another shower right before bed because who can sleep like that? Personally, I abhor heat in whatever form it takes. It is for this reason I've always pondered living in Maine. The difference between Washington and Arizona is that the summers here last an appropriate amount of time for what should be considered a summer. In Arizona, winter is just that two weeks of sixty degree weather in between the season I like to call Summer and the season I like to call, Someone Please Send Me to Hell So I Can Escape This Godforsaken Heat.

A couple of years ago, we put some egress windows in our basement. In our area, bedrooms may not be legally called bedrooms unless they have an escape of an appropriate size for a human in case of fire, flood or Armageddon (although in the case of the latter, I would imagine you'd want to stay indoors as much as possible). So while we had three bedrooms in the basement and two on the main floor, we could only legally call our house a two bedroom home and it's value was based on it having only two bedrooms. Now that we have these nice roomy windows, we can call the downstairs rooms living space and our house essentially went from a "two bedroom home" to a "five bedroom home." It's value will be appropriately increased when and if we choose to sell. It was an investment of a few hundred dollars that should translate into an increase of several thousand dollars one day, should we ever be able to sell our house at all for more than the cost of a cardboard box on Connecticut Avenue. Take that, house flippers!

To go with the new windows, we had to install two nice sized window wells on the outside of the house as well. These window wells are what allow the windows to actually, you know, open. They also serve the added bonus of trapping anyone who might be lurking around our house who doesn't know about the setup because we planted ivy all around them and it kind of obscures the big open box in the ground. I've considered getting window well covers, but who can resist the allure and anticipation of looking out your window each day and wondering what kind of burglar and/or peeping Tom you caught in your trap last night?

The downside of the window wells is that they also capture small animals. We've fished baby birds out of there, moles, groundhogs, possums and a number of other lawn pests... except rabbits. Rabbits like to live dangerously. The most prolific of the animals stuck in the window wells, however, are the frogs. Every time it rains, we find dozens of tiny frogs who somehow have hopped into the well, but find it impossible to hop out. We learned this lesson shortly after we put the wells in and did not check them after a rain. Then a couple of weeks later, wandered by and found a handful of sad, pathetic, dried up dead frogs and my little tender heart felt guilt for all these animal deaths for weeks afterward. Now we just consider checking the window wells after a rainstorm part of the regular maintenance on the house. As The Dormouse has gotten older it's become her duty to remember and go on a Frog Hunt with Daddy after each new rain.

Today's frog haul was a particularly fruitful endeavor. Why do I hear scores of tiny voices singing "Hello, My Baby" when I look at this picture?

Oh right... too much TV.