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?

Previously posted in 2017

Why I Almost Killed My Sister

I almost killed my sister on my birthday.

say it isn't so

Now don’t get me wrong; I realize it’s shocking to lead with that, especially since this is supposed to be a humor blog and death isn’t funny. Spoiler alert: there will be a happy ending. Sort of.

It started 3 days before my birthday when I called Vicki to see whether her doctor contacted her with test results from the previous week. At 64, she’s lived most of her life with debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder, is developmentally and physically disabled and now has a muscle condition forcing her to use a walker. Life has not been particularly kind to Vicki.

Bill, Vicki me at Tahoe

Me, brother Bill and Vicki at Tahoe circa 1960

Vicki sleeps late and doesn’t have a cell phone or computer. I can only contact her via her home phone. She often can’t reach it before it goes to voicemail so I leave a message and hope she calls me back. But this time she didn’t. I figured she’s probably out getting dinner and will call me later. But no. Continue reading

The 11th Hour

I’m writing this awfully close to the 11th hour before posting so I really procrastinated on this one. Do you want to hear my excuse? You do? Well, I’m sorry but I simply don’t have time to go into that right now. The pressure’s on so I’ll jump right in.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about my introduction to wearing contacts. But Kaiser Permanente was out of the ones I need. Therefore, I went home with enough for just 4 days until more arrive, whenever that will be. So I had to decide which precious 4 days I wanted to wear contacts. Decisions, decisions.

I waited a couple days and in the interim I forgot the trick for putting contacts onto my eyeballs. I’m fairly sure there’s a trick to it. And I also forgot which way the contact should sit on my finger to show it’s not inverted and therefore might feel like sand embedded in my cornea. To tell the truth, it looked the same to me no matter how I flipped it.

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Lessons Learned

So Monday I’m driving in the rain, tending to the usual feral cat stuff. And even though my blog runs on Sundays, I started thinking about my next topic. It’s never too early to plan, especially since I’m a last minute kinda gal. (Sometimes I’m writing at midnight Saturday night.) So I’m thinking and I’m thinking. But…

I got nothin again

Now don’t get me wrong; I knew something would come to me (and probably Saturday around midnight). But then, there ya go. Just like that, something came to me. And here it is:

Monday’s weather was weird. Rain one minute, sunny the next. Surprisingly, I actually remembered to bring my raincoat. For my last errand, I headed to Home Depot for tin garbage cans to store excess cat food since rodents have discovered my garage is a culinary gold mine.

Home Depot

The garbage cans were outside in the garden section but the lids sat on a top shelf. (Naturally.) So to reach them, I placed my purse on the lid of one can and used another can to hoist myself up to grab the lids. I thought, okay, now I’m outta here. Except my purse was gone. It had slid into a can where 3 inches of rain water sat waiting to soak my Baggallini .

wet purse

The evidence

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I Can See Clearly Now

If you haven’t yet reached the age where you’re referred to as ma’am or sir, this posting will mean nothing to you so feel free to go about your day. Or, on second thought, read this so you’ll educate yourself as to what awaits when you wake up one day and realize you’re officially a senior, aka long in the tooth, past your prime, seasoned…

Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not like I just entered this realm. In the US, people are considered seniors once they reach age 62. So I’ve already had four years of experience being old. And like anything, there’s good and bad in that.

First the good: A senior gets discounts at movie theaters and on certain days at some grocery stores — not particularly exciting when you consider the trade-off. But qualifying for Medicare and Social Security makes it tolerable. Another aging perk is that men take pity on me, sometimes offering to carry heavy items to my car. Little do they know I can manage on my own. But why spoil their feel good moment and tell them?

Now the bad: Well, how much time do you have? Just kidding. I bet you think aches and pains are front and center. Actually I’m lucky there. I try to keep in shape, work out, play tennis, blah, blah, blah. So once I’m up and moving, I’m good to go.

What’s hardest for me is going blind. Well, not actually blind but sometimes it feels that way. Sad to say, this is a normal aspect of aging. Things started getting blurry in my mid 40s when I couldn’t read the fine print in the phone book anymore. Yes, for you youngsters, there were once phone books.

Where’s the magnifying glass?
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