1. Always check your barley
…before you shake a big pile of it into your hot bubbling stew that has been happily cooking along in the crockpot all day. Because that barley—that you didn’t store in an airtight container–just might be laced with tiny bugs that you’ll dump into the stew before noticing them wriggling and writhing around in the hot broth. And you’ll hurriedly scoop out as many of the offensive bugs as you can, but when you take a big ladle full from the bottom, there’ll still be a few stray deceased offenders floating in it.
2. You can’t register for classes at the local community college
….if you’re on academic probation. If, last year, you accidentally signed up for pottery workshop as a credit class instead of an audit, and then you had a difficult pregnancy and didn’t do one stitch of pottery, and your professor called you two days before the end of the semester wanting to go over your goals and see your work, and you had nothing, he’ll give you an F. And if you have an F on your permanent record, you can’t sign up for pottery again (as an audit) without dragging your three children over to Student Services to meet with an academic advisor who will give you permission to take another class. You’re never too old for a little academic probation.
3. Don’t give your daughter a sharpie
…and tell her to draw her best bird on the muslin cloth so that you can embroider it, without first giving her some direction. Because she’ll draw a really good bird on the cloth, one that you really love, with wing bars, but she’ll draw it so close to the edge of the cloth that you won’t be able to fit it into the embroidery hoop. And the project that you wanted to sit down and work on right away that evening to unwind, will have to wait until you figure out a way to get more room around the edges of that very good drawing of a bird. But then she’ll draw you two flowers to work on instead, and that will make you happy. And as you work, you’ll realize you really know nothing about embroidery, but it’s extremely relaxing and it just might be your new thing.