Screaming on Sunday

Sunday morning.
Taking the towel off my hair, turning on the light...

FYI - don't try to use a bottle of mousse to smash a spider this size.
You'll only break its leg.
Also, big spiders won't wash down the drain.

I have to add on that I've also found a spider in the washer this week. Hovering just at the top of the agitator, breathing heavily after surviving a normal wash at warm/cold temperature. FYI2 - don't try to use a box of dryer sheets to smash a spider in the washer. You'll only have to wash the clothes again - this time at extra heavy agitation, hot/hot water with an extra HOT rinse --- even if it happens to be a load of darks. I think it DID wash down the drain this time...

Is this spider abundance an insect conspiracy - an attack against me personally, the Spider Fearer? Can they smell fear? Or might these extra spidery visits in my home be due to SPRAYING AGAINST SPIDERS IN THE FALL SO THERE WOULD BE LESS OF THEM THIS SPRING? Did we pick up the wrong product at Lowes?
Spider Attractant, maybe??? Hmmmmmmmm



Along with a bag of unsuspecting yet prepared creatures, you need to bring your strongest stomach to Dissection Day activities. It all happens out under the trees, on the old picnic table --- IF there happens to be no rain.
('Cause nobody better open that bag in the house!)
No concert earplugs to be found, so --- insert cotton balls!
Gloves weren't really necessary, as it turned out. I used all my furniture stripping gloves for nothing. There's hardly any juice left in those critters!
Why are these boys under 12 wearing bifocals? Yeah, well, the magnifying glass was misplaced, too. Possibly keeping company with the lost earplugs-wanna-be-noseplugs.
Dearest Dad's glasses worked just fine. And there was a LOT to see - it's truly amazing to take apart something that used to be alive and see the inside story on how things work in there. The intricacy and craftsmanship of the Creator - astounding! All that detail, all those systems - just for a frog that will live so short a time!


Big 16

Just about the time THESE blooms opened ...


... this little guy arrived to teach us a few lessons!

Hold on to your steering wheels a little tighter, folks - this boy is soon to hit the roads as a new driver!
More lessons, coming our way ...


It's A Crowd

Right outside my back door - don't you love screen doors that slam?
(I love to watch old reruns of the Waltons, with their slamming screen doors ... )

They were already living under this window when we moved here in 1994.

I've shared and shared them, but they never diminish.
And they smell amazingly PURPLE!


Gourd Love

I admire gourds. One summer, I bought two of the cutest miniature birdhouse gourds from an elderly gentleman who was selling them at an antique fair. He talked to me about joining the "American Gourd Society", yesitsforreal, and he even gave me their last newsletter. I wore the gourd necklace, since the ridiculous is funny for me, but after seeing the photo, I felt it looked just slightly ... sordid. And at a really up-scale antique show, too.

ANYWAY --- This year I'm trying to sprout seeds from last year's $4 bag of ornamental gourds (grudgingly) bought as fall party decorations. I'm going to squeeze every bit of worth from that bag of pretty, pretty, tiny gourds, because I'm such a cheapskate.

As backup, I paid $2 for this new bag of ornamental gourd seeds. Of course, this seed pack has EVERYTHING I want in it, including the same seeds as the dried ones, straight out of the Walmart gourds.

But look - do you see those teensy, adorable white gourds? The kind I was too cheap to buy for the party last fall? THOSE are the kind I would really love to grow this year! Wouldn't a big basket of those be nice to have when the leaves start to turn this October - yes - for free!

Now I only have to figure out -
Which of the many seeds will produce those?



Surprise flowers - just popped up, just for me, (probably) just for this season!
And my favorite flower color, too!
I ask you, what is more amazing than sky blue flowers?
Not purple-y blue, although I respect those, but real, true SKY BLUE.

Forget-me-nots! I had LOTS of these when the boys were wee, and I never knew what became of them. They just disappeared, like so many other plants that just never reappear.
Like delphinium.
But don't get me started on the woes of my relationship with delphinium ... I'm trying to maintain my dignity with delphinium this year and not chase it like a lovesick fool. I'm on going to chase after baptisia australis this year.
Anyway, these surprise blooms are in the most unexpected place - the zinnia bed, way back near the fire pit. How in the world did random forget-me-nots end up waaayyyy back there, at least five years after they made their exit? The garden, folks, is a mysterious place...

I remember seeing bluets, just like these, in the lush grass of the side yard during our very first summer at this house. I was with Middle Son, who was sleeping in his Moses basket, out in the shade. That boy had a rough entry into the world, and it was a few weeks before we got outside. That was sixteen years ago this month! So it's been sixteen years since I've seen these tiny treasures, never seeing them again after that spring.

Some surprises are wonderful!


Easter Poppers

What was I thinking?
As soon as these were discovered in the Easter baskets, just ONE egg-ful each, a popper went up and came down with a mighty blast in the middle of the dining room table, to the delight of all - except me, of course.
The one who threw it asked me, "Mom, what did you expect us to do with them?"
What a smirky smirk on The Youngest's face.

Wordless Wednesday


Basement Shoes

Right now, our basement is awash with ground water. I can't whine that it's flooded, out of respect for the many who need waders to navigate their basement. No, it's only wet with various deep puddles. You can't make it to the washer/dryer/clean laundry in flip-flops, though. You have to have full shoes on. Over the weeks, the wet, endlessly wet weeks, MWH's old mowing shoes have become the designated wading shoes. They sit on the bottom step, so you only need to slide your (wisely socked) feet in and slog around.
*If you happen to tiptoe in natural disgust, the insides of the shoes will let water in ... so man-up, and no tiptoeing allowed.

The Shoes at the Bottom of the Basement Stairs are my friend and my enemy at the same time. We became more intimate this morning than I had ever intended, though, when I had to put them on with bare feet. You might think this is no big deal --- unless you have seen our basement. It's more along the lines of ... dungeon. I've encountered many scary creatures down there: the legendary ginormous spider, the basement beetle, the occasional bird, and (I vow) the leavings of a snake. Not to mention the Grey People who leave their own evidence behind occasionally. Oh and let's not forget the 'wood beetles' that find their way in seasonally.
**What is a wood beetle? Ask your husband, since this seems to be a man term for tropical-sized-brown-crunchy-insect that looks suspiciously like a nuclear roach.

Thankfully, this morning, there were only my feet in the Shoes! No crickets, wood beetles, no spiders, and no snake poop. I imagined maybe a toad though, since one hopped across my living room floor the other day... and if I was a toad, those shoes would look like the perfect cozy napping spot! We're hoping for the sun to show around here soon, but it would take a Red Sea type wind to blow the basement dry anytime soon.