Posted tagged ‘spiders’

“Only very brave mouse makes nest in cat’s ear.”

March 28, 2017

The morning has been a strange one. First off is the scary part. Halfway down from upstairs, Gracie started sliding on the steps. She panicked and started scrambling on all fours for a paw hold. She was five steps from the bottom of the stairs. I grabbed her halter and held on then lifted her to a step where she was able to gain control. The whole time I held her my back was screaming. She weighs 62 pounds. I felt every one of them, but Gracie was able to stand and make it down the stairs without falling. She was even eager to go down the outside stairs.

The second weird event was the finding of a mouse, not dead but wounded. I was on my way into the dining room which I saw it. It was the fattest field mouse I’ve ever seen. It couldn’t have run away so I’m thinking it waddled, which makes me believe Maddie got it. This must be the mouse which has been living in my cabinet, my pots and pans cabinet, where I occasionally store packages of food or crackers.  Last week I went to get the bag of potato chips I had put there a few days earlier. It had a couple of chewed holes. The Equal box which had had about 30 or so packets was empty. The corn flakes were gone. There hadn’t been many, but now there were none. That cabinet is due to be cleaned, and I was going to put a trap inside it. Now I wonder. Kudos to Maddie who is seventeen. As for that mouse, it is outside where I tossed it, still alive at least for the meantime.

I haven’t ever been afraid of bugs or snakes. I know a few people who squeal at the sight of a spider. That makes me want to slap them and say get a grip. In Ghana, I was introduced to scorpions and centipedes. Both took me a bit aback, scorpions because they bite and centipedes because of their appearance and the possibility of a bite. They are not really bugs, but that’s for another time. My favorite looking insect is the praying mantis. It, of course, had its own movie: The Deadly Mantis. The giant mantis had been frozen in the Arctic ice cap but was dislodged by a volcano’s eruption. Terror ensues.

Today is cloudy. What a surprise! Rain is predicted, another surprise, but it will be warmish at 44˚. I have some inside chores today, enough to keep me busy for maybe twenty minutes then I’ll need a nap.

“Once you begin watching spiders, you haven’t time for much else.”

July 25, 2016

It is change the air day so the AC is off for a bit, a short bit as the house is getting hot too quickly. There is a breeze, but it is doing little good. It might thunder shower this afternoon. That would be a most welcomed storm.

I have a couple of errands I can do today or I can wait until cooler weather. That might be Friday or Saturday. My friend Peg, one half of my Ghana travel mates, reminded me I need to get used to the heat. I remember the last time I was there every time I did anything I was soaked from sweat. The dry season is easier to get used to as the rainy season brings the humidity. We’ll be there at the tail end of rain.

It seems the older I get the less tolerant I am of weather. I hate the heat in summer and the cold in winter. The AC is now on days at a time. In my earlier life, I didn’t even have a fan, and I was always comfortable. All winter I now wear a sweatshirt even though the heat is on 68˚. I used to need only a long-sleeve shirt. My mother always kept her house far too hot in the winter. My sister and I wore tee shirts and complained. Now we both understand.

I have stuff to do on the deck like check lights, put the adapter on the umbrella and water plants. These are wonderful intentions but that’s what they’ll stay, intentions. I use the heat as my reason, not my excuse.

Across the top of one chair was a spider’s web. When I was going to clean it, I noticed many tiny spiders were attached to the web. In August my house is inundated with baby spiders. Now I understand why. In that one web were about twenty not ready to be born babies. I left them there. I’ll complain about all the spiders, but I just could’t bring myself to swipe away that web. It was sort of neat to see.

“CONTROL MYSELF?!! I’m a MONSTER! Monsters don’t control themselves! That’s the whole IDEA!”

November 14, 2015

The morning was gloomy with a whitish grey sky and a strong breeze. The sun has just appeared and the sky is clearing as I can see some blue. Pine needles continue to fall on the side of my front lawn under that big pine tree. My backyard is filled with pine and oak trees, but that’s Gracie’s area and only branches are cleared from it. I always know where she is even in the dark as I can hear the crunching sound as she walks on the bed of leaves and pine needles. It is chilly today.

I miss Creature Feature. When I was a kid, two old black and white science fiction movies were on every Saturday. I watched almost every week and got to know the creatures well. Strangely enough I never thought about how many of those creatures had no names. They were just pronouns like Them and It or indeterminate nouns like Thing, the beast or the monster. Some had addresses like The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Man from Planet X or The Devil Girl from Mars. We had the ants, spiders, giant tarantulas, robots, Mole Men, a deadly mantis and one of my favorites, The Monolith Monsters. The Fly I’ll put in another category as it was half human. Who can forget, “Help me! Help me?” Women were either creatures, dainty scientists, reporters or just fluff.

In the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, my favorite science fiction woman had a name, Nancy. She became 50 feet tall thanks to an alien. She was driving in the desert and had been drinking, a favorite pastime, when she runs into a giant alien hand. She manages to escape his grasp but no one believes her, the drunk. Later she and her husband go to the desert to find this alien, and they do. Harry, her husband, runs away ( finally a man who runs away) and she is left there. Later they find her on the roof of her pool house. She is delirious so the doctor gives her a sedative. The husband, who plans to kill her, later goes to her room and sees she has become a giant. He and the doctor decide to keep her sedated and in chains, but she wakes up and gets free (she has or the movie ends there). Meanwhile her lowlife philandering husband is at a bar with his latest girlfriend, honey. His giant wife wearing a bikini made from sheets goes looking for him. She finds him with Honey who didn’t know you never make a 50 foot woman mad. Nancy, now known as the giant, drops a beam from the roof on Honey who is killed. Harry starts shooting but his wife, the giant, just picks him up in her hand and walks away. Later our favorite giant is killed by the sheriff who blows up a power line transformer which kills poor Nancy. They find her dead husband in her hand. That’s what he gets!

“I’ve just been bitten on the neck by a vampire… mosquito. Does that mean that when the night comes I will rise and be annoying?”

May 28, 2015

The wind is gone, replaced by still, humid air. We may have rain later today, but the clouds right now look more like your usual hanging-around clouds. I have a few errands today. Yesterday was around the house day. I fixed the cabinet door for about the fourth time, watered all the plants and scrubbed the deck table and chairs. The deck is ready should the weather be inviting.

You’d think living in Africa would have made me inured to bugs. It didn’t. I am ever sensitive to crawly things. This morning I felt something on my arm. It was a tick, now deceased. I am still grossed out. The dog has none. I check her all the time. Now I have to keep checking myself.

The spiders are active. I saw a huge one I recognized as having once starred in his own scifi movie, and I saw baby spiders starting webs on the windowsill plants. The strands go from frond to frond. I don’t hurt spiders, but I do clear out their webs. I  think my house would like Miss Haversham’s in a short time if I didn’t. The other day a spider was on a jar on the counter. I took him outside and shook him loose. Faster than a speeding bullet he slid down to the deck on a strand he had just made.

When I was a kid, I loved watching bugs. At the swamp, dragonflies, darning needles to us, flitted and zig-zagged across the water. They were all sorts of colors, and I remember how their wings seemed to shine and reflect the sun. Snakes, especially garden snakes, were common. They’d be in the garden, and we’d give chase, not to hurt them but to watch them slither. I always thought that was pretty neat.

In Ghana I saw poisonous snakes for the first time. I remember my students pegging rocks into the bushes outside the classroom block. I asked why. “To kill the snake, madam.” One of my hens lost a chick a day probably to snakes. That hen quickly became dinner. I saw a boa once and once was enough.

My friend Christer’s special guy Hector, “Isn’t around anymore.” Loving and being loved by a dog is wonderfully amazing. A dog loves you no matter what. Gracie’s stubby tail wags and wags when I talk to her. She looks into my face as if she understands every word. The only problem is dogs don’t live as long as we do. I am so very sorry, Christer.

“Spiders so large they appear to be wearing the pelts of small mammals.”

May 15, 2014

The day is warm. The sun pops in and out. It is an open the windows and let the fresh air in sort of day. I have an errand or two to do later. I still walk oddly because of the aches and pains left over from the fall, but I have to go out. I figure the cats will want to be fed later as they just got their last can. What’s with these animals wanting to eat every day?

Gracie eats the best food. The list of ingredients starts with meat then goes on to the fruits and vegetables. I swear if I heated the turducken and served it over toast people would enjoy it, but it was different when I was a kid. Duke, my boxer, ate two cans of dog food a day, of horse meat. Feeding him was gross as the food didn’t smell good and the last thing I was for it to touch me. It also gave him room clearing gas. Most were of the silent but deadly form. It was always best to sit up wind from Duke.

Some of my friends squealed at spiders. I always thought that was silly. Spiders had no interest in us. They were hoping for flies or other stray insects though I do sometimes think of The Fly caught in the web and yelling, “Help me. Help me,” as the spider slowly walked toward him. I did figure, though, that was an anomaly. Some noises in the night scared me like people walking or the window getting scratched, but I wore a brave front and always asked, “Is anyone there?” Now that is silly. What homicidal maniac is going to answer, “I am, and I’m here to dismember you.” I had this idea that if I sounded brave I’d scare away the man with hook or the hatchet. As I never saw one, I must have been successful.

I used to walk home at night from being with my friends. No one walked in my direction. The rest walked together the other way. Once a police car stopped and offered me a ride home. He knew me which is why he stopped. I took the ride. When he got to my street, he turned on all the lights and let me out. I figured the neighbors were watching from all their windows wondering what was going on. I waved and went inside the house. I was never afraid walking home alone. The biggest news in the police blotter of the local paper was woman hears sounds in her yard, kids making noise, and cars leaving rubber and speeding. My town was not a hot bed of crime.

“You have to jump into disaster with both feet.”

June 15, 2013

Wow, the day is a delight. The sun is warm and bright, and the temperature will be in the 70’s. I went outside earlier and actually repotted a plant. The sun must have stripped away the lethargy the rain had brought. My grass is lush and green. The front garden is beautiful. If I were given one day to create, it would be much like today.

I have a couple of things I need to pick up at the store and one load of wash to do, but that’s it for my entire list of Saturday chores. I’ve already made my bed and emptied the cat litter. I think one of the pod people has inhabited my body. Never am I so productive this early in the morning.

I heard a faint beep and didn’t know if it was inside or outside. I walked to the back door to check. Gracie was standing on the deck and she was baying with her head in the air and her mouth opened the same way her cousins the wolves bay at the moon. Somewhere an auto alarm was one continuous beep, and it bothered poor Miss Gracie. I hadn’t ever seen her bay before this. When the noise finally stopped, so did Gracie.

My outside shower needs some care and tending. It seems the spawns had used the front part as some sort of shelter. Stripped pine cones are piled on the floor. The spiders live in the back where the shower head is. Webs are across from one side of the shower stall to the other. The spiders were quite creative though none reached the heights Charlotte did.

A column in the Cape Times the other day gave me a chuckle. It was about the blue Evacuation Route signs which have been erected directing people to the Mid-Cape Highway. Putting them up was a mandate tied to highway funds; however, they’re silly when it comes to Cape Cod. Perhaps the tourists will flood the roads in their haste to leave, but the rest of us know better. If there is a hurricane with heavy winds, the bridges are always closed. That means no getting off Cape unless by water, but a hurricane would make that impossible and deadly. In Plymouth is the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station, the only nuclear power plant operating in the state. If there is an accident there and evacuation is necessary, the route off Cape would take us right into the accident zone. People with boats could escape by water. I’d have to swim. 

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

September 22, 2012

Yesterday the rain left the day humid and damp. Late last night it rained again. This morning is dark and gray. I have absolutely no inclination to go out and about. I might not even get dressed. My iPad has a few new books, perfect ones to while away a day, books with good guys and bad guys, buried treasure and a few murders. I might even watch a bit of TV. Today is deadly bug day on Syfy with wasps, alien insects set on world domination and monstrous spiders. The bugs are the opening act for tonight’s new movie about spiders from the Middle East called camel spiders who have a taste for humans.

I think the young me would approve of the much older me. Back then I had huge dreams and all sorts of ideas about who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go. I saw myself as a lawyer, maybe even the first female Perry Mason, or a teacher, an inspirer, and I knew I’d travel the world to visit places from the pages of my geography books. Even though I was growing up in the 50’s I never thought of being female as limiting, never even realized that a dress and pearls were de rigueur. I always knew I’d go to college even though no one in my family ever had. My best friends in high school were two guys, and we did all sorts of neat things and pushed the boundaries as far as we dared. My friends and I roamed Cambridge, Harvard Square, when it was the neatest place. We were comfortable just about anywhere. Once we celebrated Mardi Tuesday with a picnic at the library where we sat hidden between the stacks on the third floor. We thought of ourselves as rebels. We saw foreign movies with subtitles and felt worldly. We were daredevils sledding with our toboggan on hills everyone avoided. The bumps sent us airborne.

I learned long ago that life is an adventure to be savored, and in all these years, I have seldom been disappointed.

%d bloggers like this: