Rethinking Spiders

spider again

I’ve never been afraid of spiders.

In fact, I don’t use pesticides to eradicate what many consider pesky creatures — the crawly things that visit my home. I have pets so I try to avoid poisons, nor do I want to kill any creepy looking critters. I’m weird like that.

Consequently, my neighbors’ crawly things prefer to come to me where it’s safe but apparently not so sound. That’s because I often find my little friends taking refuge inside my house…in the bathroom Jacuzzi, the corner of the living room, or especially in the garage. In the insect world, word is out where I live. And word travels fast.

I keep Kleenex handy for scooping up delicate insects to place outside. Paper towels are too rough; I might inadvertently squish a critter and have to contend with the guilt. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not fanatic about spiders. But hey, they can’t help it if they’re disgusting looking. Besides, who am I to judge? I’m no prize either.

Kleenex

At the ready

Anyway, for indoor critter recovery I also keep a plastic container handy. Like when a lizard finds its way into the house, or God help me, one of my cats brings in a snake, which has happened twice (that I know of). Sometimes I’ll even scoop up a spider in my hands to gently place on a rosebush near the porch. I imagine it appreciates the gesture so much more than encountering the sole of my shoe.

rosebush

But then last week, as I talked on the phone with a friend, I had a visit by the largest spider I’ve witnessed in my home in the 33 years I’ve lived here. It practically rendered me speechless, something I’m rarely capable of being. I stopped mid-sentence, basically to freak out.

Quickly hanging up the phone, I took a photo of Mr. Gargantuan, AKA Mr. G. I wanted to remove him ASAP. Or sooner. I admit this photo doesn’t do him justice without a frame of reference to display his size, like putting a half dollar next to it. But I’m not crazy. No way was I getting my hand near that monster. Let’s just say it was take-your-breath-away-big.

big spider

Leg to leg, larger than a silver dollar

So I raced to the pantry for my insect-catching Tupperware. My heart pounded as I wondered how I’d capture this spider without it crawling up my arm and biting me on the face. Don’t laugh. It actually happened to a singer, Meghan Linsey. While she slept, a brown recluse spider bit her on the face, gradually creating a hole under her eye.

megan linsey3

As luck would have it, my spider was also brown. I thought, do brown recluse’s live around here? (They don’t.) But how was I to know? Could have been a cousin to Meghan’s spider, out here visiting. Anyway, as I tried scooping up Mr. G, he literally propelled from the kitchen wall onto the floor in one magnificent leap, just like Spider-Man. Then, before I could nab him, he quickly scurried under the door into the garage.

spider man leaps 2

Trying to fall asleep that night wasn’t easy. I imagined every little itch was that same brown spider. Then, to top it off, guess what I found the next day on the exact same wall? A baby spider! I swear to God. But now I’m thinking Mr. G was actually Mrs. G and this little one was her offspring desperately searching for her. That’s all I need — a hole in my face from an angry baby spider out for revenge because I scared mom away.

baby spider

So to recap, I am now afraid of spiders.

brown recluse spider 2

An actual brown recluse. Sorta looks like Mrs. G, don’t ya think?

The Sweetest Gift

In honor of Mother’s Day…Yes, you’re right. I’ve posted this before. But feel free to read it again!

My mom, Loretta Rose, with Bailey

She gave me love as well as life; so whatever goodness I may bring to Earth began with the gift of my mother’s heart…

At some point in our relationship, my mom transitioned from being my parent to also being a great friend. I’d say it happened in 1985, when she was diagnosed with incurable, inoperable  lung cancer. Continue reading

A Nearly Perfect Cat

So I have this foster cat, Winter. Seems I’ve had her forever. Sometimes 21 days feels that way. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I am. But give me a break. The cat is both adorable and a pain in my keister. Well actually, more like my shoulder. Or my arm. Or my neck.

I’ll explain…

Winter

Winter is as you’d imagine — mostly white with blue eyes the color of Tahoe sky on a brilliant January day when the sun shines on pillowy blankets of snow, all sparkly white and beautiful. But sometimes it can be too bright if you’re not prepared for it…kinda like my foster.

CA15498

You’re probably wondering what I mean. Then again, maybe not. The thing is, Winter is wonderful 97.5% of the time. Probably the most loving cat I’ve ever fostered. But she has a tendency that might make her adoption a bit, shall we say, difficult.

Winter’s MO is that she’s a big hugger. Never seen anything like it. She jumps onto the arm of my office chair to wrap her arms around my neck. Winter then proceeds to nuzzle my face with what I interpret to be adoration. What can I say? She loves me. Never mind that she’d love anyone sitting in this chair. Continue reading

Tipping the Scales

snowman weight joke

I must confess. Since the holidays I’ve been chowing down like it’s my last few days on earth. Yours truly is eating like calories don’t count. So I’m not counting them. I’m going to be cremated so I’m not worried about fitting into a casket; I’m more concerned about fitting into my pants tomorrow.

snowmen

If only it were this easy

Now don’t get me wrong. I have no plans to die anytime soon and I don’t mean to make light of death (even though this is presumably a humor blog). I also know I’m being extremely superficial here…all points worth noting before I continue.

I’m joining a friend for a movie and I’m bitterly aware of the fact I have few pants that are not, shall we say, uncomfortably snug. Besides, I feel better when I’m 10 pounds lighter than I currently possess. It’s hard to accomplish that, though, when one is a sugar addict, as I wrote in Confessions of a Sugar Addict.

sugar addict

sugar and cocaine

Continue reading

Time for My Civic Duty

jury duty

Yesterday my mailbox held something I always dread receiving: A jury summons.

Ugh Charlie Brown

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m perfectly happy to honor my civic duty. But I’d prefer that duty not be a week from Tuesday. Maybe in the winter when I’m not as busy? What can I say? There’s never a good time to get a jury summons. So I’m contemplating rescheduling. And then rescheduling the reschedule.

crime jury duty

Continue reading