A single decision can set off a chain of events from which your life can be completely altered (i.e. devastated). Conversely, a single decision can bring about a series of other decisions that ultimately prevent a horribly catastrophic event. The former almost occurred, but latter has just occurred.
We had been hanging out in the neighbors' yard, as they are having an all-day bonfire to which we were invited to attend. The boys played happily, got rides on the ATV, received popsicles...while Chris and I chatted with other adults and enjoyed some delicious food. I took Blake back home to take his nap, and rested and watched a lovely British movie by myself while resting on the couch. Once Blake awoke, I decided to start cooking some chicken for shredding, figuring it could boil whilst we were hanging out a bit more prior to dinner/baths/bedtime routines.
I had let the dog out when Blake and I went back over, and he came over as well. When he showed up, my neighbor told me that Jaz had earlier come over to say Hello and also decided to make himself at home in the back yard by taking a dump. I immediately sprang into action to find a baggie to pick it up. They insisted it was no big deal, but I would not hear of it (I cannot tolerate other animals leaving scat in my yard, so I will also not allow my dog to defecate in another person's yard). I picked up the poo, then walked over to drop it off in our trash receptacle. I then went inside to wash my hands.
When I got inside, I immediately got the very strong smell of smoke. I walked over to the stove and noticed there was actually some smoke floating in the air. I looked down and realized that, rather than the pot of chicken put to boil on the back burner, I had actually started the front burner, which had a plate, a spoon, and the edge of one of my beloved bamboo cutting boards on it. All of which were being scorched. I corrected my mistake, put the hot plate and spoon in the sink, ran cold water over the cutting board, and thanked God that I did not just burn down the house or cause any significant damage with my brainless move.
The moral of the story: Always pick up after your dog.