The locksmith eyed this birdfeeder and mentioned it might attract more bears than birds...oops.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Critters in the Hills

Last week, I had a nice adventure in the mountains with Mama and Daddy. We met up at the cottage on Thursday, around lunchtime, with a sack full of BBQ sandwiches and some homemade carrot cake. I couldn't hardly wait to get everything settled in so I could relax on the swing and just sit and stare off at the high mountains.

There's always a flurry of activity upon the blinds, turn on the air, turn on the water heater and turn on the water at the well house. As the summer has come on, I've started hesitating before venturing into the well house. Actually, I don't go inside the well house, good heavens no. I just gingerly lean in, checking for snakes, spiders, rats, bees, wasps, hornets, mice, bats, bobcats, foxes, bears or any other godforsaken critter, and quickly turn the water valve.

So as I went to turn on the water, I first picked up five rocks from the road and systematically threw them about every foot as I walked towards the door of the little wooden shed. I figured if there was a snake, the rock would rouse it from it's snake nap, or whatever it is snakes do as they lie-in-wait. I removed the yellow wire from the door latch and swung open the door.....and out flies a huge spider carcass on a trapeze! I jumped out of the way, screaming, and my right elbow got bumped by the door trying to swing shut. To my horror, I saw the inside of the door was covered in three of the largest spiders I have ever seen! They had huge thighs and were easily the size of a small tarantula! Oh my GOSH I screamed and ran from that dang well house as fast as I could!

Look at the SIZE of these spiders!

THIS is what has bred in the walls of the well house. It was sorta hard holding it while taking a picture, but I'm brave like that...

Hopefully, Dirk will be able to come up with at attack plan and rid that place of unwanted guests. In the meantime: Attention all you gargantuous tarantulous spiders, that well house is not Motel 6 and Tom Bodett did not leave the light on for you!

The evening ended well with some pickin' and some fiddlin' down at the senior center.

Later that evening, back at the cottage, I was letting Savannah and Annie Fannie out to tee-tee one last time and I noticed a slew of huge bees on the porch, quite agitated and flying up against the windows...apparently trying to get inside the house.

 These weren't just regular bees, no, these were like something you'd see on an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and good heavens above they were congregating on my porch at night no less, and were dang-near about to bust down my door. What in the heck is it with these freakishly large critters!

 I googled grotesquely huge bees and found out we were experiencing the little-known phenomena of the European hornet-lighted-window-attraction. Apparently, these hornets move about at night and are attracted to lit house windows. I'm wondering if they'd also be attracted to one of those lighted hanging zappers. Zzzzzt!!! Enough large creature drama for me in one day! Next time I'm bringing the .410 and a box of shells!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Some thoughtful musings today....

This morning I contributed to a church yard sale by setting up a table with odds and ends I no longer used. It's fascinating how we readily hand over hard-earned money to buy these things and two years or so later, they're sharing a table with other no-longer-wanted items, the honeymoon being long over.

 But, sooner or later, along comes a new owner happy to start a relationship with the item and I get to pocket a crisp, new dollar bill.

Funny how fast kids tire of their toys. The next table, make that tables down, there was ton-o-toys bought for a whirlwind of a three-year-old named Jackson. He was running, leaping, climbing, jumping....everything but giving even one iota of interest to the hundreds of bright, shiny toys that surely couldn't be that old on his mom's tables.

 In fact, the only thing that truly kept his interest was a dusty pile of hay. That's right. Hay. About a bucketful. He would gather the hay in a pile, sweep it, throw it, put in on the stage, jump in it, kick it....just about everything but lay in it.

Just think of all the money that mom could have saved. Forget the tigers, zebras, noise makers, ride on horsies....just buy that kid a pile of hay. Life can be simple, if we just let it.

So I got new contacts today. "No, no," I told the doctor, "don't give me the bi-focal contacts. I'll just wear my reading glasses when I need them." I gathered my little plastic bag of bottles and boxes and came home, excited to finally see sharpened images in the distance. It was no time before I had those slippery lenses in my eyes and I glanced around the bathroom, ready to be amazed. The strangest thing though.....sure I could see the specks of dust on the table in my neighbor's backyard, but anything closer than five feet was s total BLUR. I couldn't even lean in to the mirror to see myself, couldn't dial a phone, read my email....nothing....unless I wore the reading glasses. What the heck!?

So, after 20 minutes of this ridiculousness, I decided to take the contacts out but there's a problem when you're over 40 and are wearing contacts for near-sightedness. I needed my reading glasses to see how to take out my contacts! So Dirk helped hold my reading glasses half on and half off all cock-eyed so I could see my own face. Good GRIEF. Guess I'll be getting those bi-focal contacts after all.

Is anyone old enough to remember the movie "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium"? Well, if it's been two weeks, this needs to be Ellijay. I saw it's gonna be 84 on Sunday and nearly cried. Fall is missing us, I'm quite sure. Can't you just taste the pumpkin ice cream, apple fritters and sweet potato fried pies? Oh, do hurry!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Food, Trees and other disappearing things

This has been an interesting week. First, we decided to do some pruning up in the mountains. The wintertime view is stunning. But once the leaves showed up, the view pretty much disappeared. Which was alright, I suppose, but sitting on the swing and staring off into the distance ended up being sitting in the swing and staring at the backyard trees. So we call a recommended fella and he sent three gentlemen with chain saws and long ropes. They climbed and pruned and I kept the lemonade coming, using my google translator to say, "Aqui es mas limonada" At 9:30am the view looked like this:

And at 4:30, after much sweat and hard work it looked like this! I couldn't believe it! This was just after pruning a bunch of trees. They only had to cut down a few small ones and one leaning Cyprus. Who knew that forever really goes on forever!

I decided to leave that one tall oak in case we wanted to have a dog party! Big dogs, little dogs, black dogs, white dogs! Our very own Dr. Seuss dog party tree!

So after a week in the mountains, we returned back to the hot city and discovered a new kid on the block was dishing up some interesting pasta. My appetizer was bruschetta and salad.

Dinner was gnocchi with crab, olive oil and garlic.

Then tonight, Ev and I ate at the Georgia Shrimp Co. My sandwich was Magnificent! Lightly sauteed Basa fish with shredded gouda cheese, honey mustard, lettuce, tomatoes and avocados on a kaiser bun with tender sweet potato fries. I ate it up before there was time to get a pic.

And dessert! Oh my! It was a native South African dish called Malva. There was a cake all fruity and spicy and tender all in a wash of sweet cream. It was sooo good and spoon-licking (no, plate licking!) delicious that I didn't want to drink my water and rinse away the flavor. Sorry about the picture. Again, the fork was quicker than the flash.