Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Country Living.

Allow me to take a break from house projects for a moment and talk about some of our neighbors.  One handsome devil lives outside of the sunroom window….and one lives along the kitchen window.  

CRAZY HUGE SPIDERS. (I went to take pictures, but they got camera shy).

 I can’t express enough just how excited I am to get the house power washed this week.  I wonder, will they come back and rebuild?  Will they return to the woods?  When my niece visited the house before we moved in, she remarked that we live in Hogwart's Forbidden Forest.  Do you think there is a monster mama spider lurking just beyond our view?  

Oh, Aragog!

These guys, of course, are outside the house, but I’ve also come across quite a few creepy crawlies inside.  Just this morning, I was about to step into the shower when I saw a big hairy spider nestled in the towel lying on the floor.  That thing was at least five inches wide, I swear.  Zeph was sitting in his walker nearby, so trying to keep my cool, I calmly folded the towel over the spider, squished and rolled up the remaining fabric and ran it downstairs to [have Patrick] deal with it later.  Once I got back upstairs, I felt chills all over my body and wiped my arms over and over again, feeling so grossed out until Zeph stopped laughing at me and started to look at me like I was crazy.  “Woman, get yourself together,” he implored through those penetrating, slightly judging eyes.  Right, good point, baby boy.

A few weeks ago, I had another disconcerting episode in the bathroom (this, apparently, is the hellmouth for wildlife in my house).  We had the air ducts cleaned out earlier that morning.  A whole team arrived to take care of the situation, and the owner chatted with me about his dogs for most of the two-hour period.  Towards the end, he showed me some of the “treasures” his crew had found while cleaning: a dried snakeskin from the crawlspace, and a blue-tailed lizard carcass from one of the vents.  “I’m going to put these on my dashboard,” he exclaimed (I thought jokingly).  I responded with a nervous laugh when he said, “I have a whole collection, come see!”  Um, no thank you.  Anyway, later after finishing some heavy duty cleaning, I began to get ready for a shower.  I noticed one of the vent plates had been left off in the bathroom, so I reached down to replace it.  As I did, a very much alive blue-tailed lizard scuttled off somewhere as I ran out screaming.  (Am I really that weak?  Apparently, yes).  It took two tries before our contractor Jeff could find him.  I thought he’d just toss the lizard out the window, but nope, he cut off the tail (which wiggled after it was detached!) then flushed the two parts down the toilet.  Poor little guy.

I suppose my point in all of this is wondering if I’ll ever be a tough country girl who doesn’t squirm and become squeamish at the inevitable multitude of wildlife that surrounds me.  Will I learn to appreciate all of the creatures around here, or just the cute, furry ones?  Sometimes I miss Church Hill, but whenever I do, our house, our neighbors or something else about this place will always speak to me and remind me what a dream world this is and I love it, creepy crawlies and all.


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  2. Here are some country survival tips from the lady that knows some things:

    1. Spiders are your friends. In fact, if you can see them, that's good. It's the a-holes who hide in the dark that are the problem. To gently remove, simply place a see-through glass over them and slip a firm index card under the glass to lift them from the floor/wall/ceiling. Don't let their frantic crawling around the glass scare you; they just have eight eyes and no self-awareness. Now that they are trapped, you release them in the wild so they can continue to do their job.

    You want to keep them around because they eat bugs.

    2. Snakes are your friends. They eat things like bugs. And other critters.

    3. Lizards? Really?

    4. If the water stinks, don't consume it. You don't want the same orange sediment collecting in your toothbrush to be in your digestive track. Also, beware of washing whites. Hopefully you have county water.

    5. There are these huge ass bugs with animal bodies and insect wings that fly around. They are rumored to be cicadas, but when that flies at you, it's hard to get a good look.

    6. The glow in the dark butterflies are luna moths. Your cat will eat them.

    7. Speaking of cats, don't assume the eyes glowing from the grass in the yard is indeed your cat. It may be another feline. Like a bobcat. Or perhaps a fox.

    8. Your friends will promptly have electricity after a major storm. You will not.

    9. Snow days are a reality for you. It's not that you are so far removed from civilization, but V-Dot don't give a crap about your road.