Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hunting in Ohio

Hunting in Ohio.

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Hunting in Ohio

I have stepped into the realm of being a hunter. No, not with a gun (I have used a car before, but that is another story). I am a dead shot though. Just ask the prey I killed today. It put up a valiant fight so I salute its drive to survive. But, I am deeply glad it is not alive any more.

The whole hunting expedition started last night. Somewhere around 10:30 or so. My living room was invaded. That set into motion the deep desire in me to see the invader dead on the floor.

I have to say the terror and general creepy-crawly eeewwww I felt was monumental. The creature just sauntered across my living room rug like the place belonged to it! Although, I have to admit it did stop when it realized a bigger predator was towering over it. It was such a shock to see the total disregard of personal territory displayed by that walk across the rug. The beast was out to hunt it’s next meal—on my turf!!

Poor Pepper. He was snoozing on the couch next me when I stood up in an attempt to take a picture of the creature for posterity when the beast ran. He stood up on the couch, looked over at me with eyes full of distress, jumped down off the couch and sprinted into the bedroom. He did not come back out all night. Yuri, great Prince that he is, slept through the whole encounter. (Too far beneath him to acknowledge such a thing as that was I guess).

I have never seen a creature move so fast as that thing on my rug. One second it was there, right in the middle of the flower, next it was gone. Just gone. No more than a half second to go what must have been, to it at least, a half mile!! This is thing is a worthy opponent to the strongest, most brave of hunters.

After its retreat to under the round leather stool,(I admit to being on watch for quite a while after to see if it was going to reappear), Yuri and I went to bed. I carried him to be sure no freeloaders latched onto his over-long fur and came to bed too. I, it seems, was becoming a bit paranoid in this whole encounter. It certainly did make for a bit of a long night with the haunting feeling of little legs crawling around on me or a the least in my bed. Sleep took a while.

In the morning I went onto the internet to find out all I could about my opponent. After all, identifying one’s enemy is the first step in winning the battle. I found all I needed to know on the site that listed all the Ohio creepy-crawlies that might have been that one in my living room last night. It was a wolf spider. Known to be as big as 2 inches, but mostly 1 or 1 and a half inches in body length. Note that, body length, not total, just the body of this thing. Quickest spider next to the jumping spider (which is even scarier in its quickness as it jumps at you!!). As spiders go, this sucker is the biggest, ugliest one home grown here in Ohio. And, the little buggers are everywhere in the world. Quite adaptable it seems. They seem to hibernate in the cold winter, coming awake about this time of year. They like spring too it seems.

Well, the eviction notice has been served on this one! NO SPIDERS ALLOWED IN MY HOUSE!! Especially ones this size. While perusing the internet about this crafty little devil, I found all I needed to know about how to rid my house and my imagination of this spider. I also remembered that the spider I killed in the bathroom with the hammer (used because it was much too big for any other wimpy-sized instrument), I realized it was a wolf spider also. So, that meant there were at least two of them thinking their residence would be my house.

I also needed to make sure there was a visual recording of this beast. For when I was relating my first encounter with this huge black spider’s fellow invader (black made it seem more sinister), my cousins made jokes about it saying it couldn’t have been that big, that I was exaggerating for the story. So, this time pictures were taken. With the proper references of size to other objects. If I had to rid my house of this invader by myself, it would be recorded for posterity. No more laughter at my spider-encounters.

I found my weapon at Lowe’s. Good ol’ Black Flag! Their product truly is a blaster, a total destruction weapon aimed at that huge, nasty-looking spider lurking in my living room. “Spider and Scorpion Killer” it said. Hmm, maybe this is it. Right on the label it said “kills wolf spiders”. After checking with a young gentleman who works there, I decided it was the best I could get. And it was under $5.

The lady who checked me out assured me it would do the job. She knew exactly what I was talking about, commiserated me on my ugly spider invasion, and promised me it would truly kill the beast.

After a couple of quick stops, I took my weapon home to rid my little world of this beastly spider. When I walked into the laundry room to put some bags away what did I see over by the door but that beast from the night before!! I grabbed my spider-killing spay and attacked, not giving the creature a path of retreat, I spayed, and sprayed and sprayed again. (For $5 I figured I could empty it onto this one and go get more.)

The thing actually ran!! Yes!! It ran!! Albeit not too far, only about maybe two feet, but it ran. In its attempt to get as far away from the mad woman with the spray can, it trapped itself up against the door jamb. I kept spraying. Now the thing was covered with the liquid from the can. So covered in fact, it looked like it was under a small blanket of snow, just big enough for it’s body. I stood there and watched it curl up and finally die.

I feel no remorse, no sorrow for the death of another living creature. This spider invaded my domain. I had a fleeting thought of hanging its shrived, curled up body on the fence somewhere on the deck to ward of any others who might think my house is a great place for them. But, after realizing I would have to touch the body to do that, I dismissed it as impractical.

For now, for today and hopefully for a long time to come, the wolf spider is repelled and done away with. I will spray all the doorways and even some windows and vents to be sure the rest of the clan know this is not their house. This is the house of the Spider Killer!!!!

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California Dreaming

California Dreaming.

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California Dreaming

This has been a day fraught with bouts of homesickness for everyone at Dog Cottage.  It started with me. Something in the air every since Easter Sunday has tugged at my heart, bringing up visions, sometimes fleeting where only the hint is there, of my life in California. Something about Spring, about sunshine and blue skies, about longer puppy walks, about being outside again after being confined to a few hundred feet of indoor space brought this on.

DaBoys and I for the last two days have driven over to Farot Park, just about maybe three or four miles away,  and walked the whole perimeter of the park. It takes us just about an hour. So my guess is its about two to two and half miles around. It is a peaceful, quiet place with fountains and water play fountains for children. The kind that Fashion Island in Newport Beach has in the perfect place for little ones to play while one parent at a time gets to shop undisturbed for a bit. Yesterday there were children actually playing in these water jets, but today was too chilly to get wet in the wind.

The children playing in the oh-so-frigid water yesterday were happily enjoying themselves when Pep and Yuri came to the water too. DaBoys were singing and prancing around as if I had arranged this oh-so-perfect surprise for them. They have a deep love for children; in their former lives with others they each had children and they long for them sometimes. They too missed those former days in a place where they could go for a walk everyday.

That must have started the musings. I miss my grandkids too. I miss knowing they were just a drive away, either way. I miss being surprised at work when they went to the dentist and stopped on their way home for a hug. I miss sitting in my sunlit living room and just chatting with them, learning about the latest adventure in their lives. I miss Jimmy playing on the patio with Yuri. I miss Eden wearing my headbands. I miss Cienna shopping in my closet to see if there just might be a little item she can procure.

I miss going to the beach with Pat. Taking DaBoys to the sand at Montage while she and I walk and walk and walk, with two small dogs trailing behind. Having a fine fish taco at that wonderful place on PCH on the way home. I miss luncheons on her patio with such sumptuous fare. I miss her hugs. I miss Dottie’s cheerful face over Saturday dinner at Olive Garden, along with her solid practical advice about all things in life.

I miss my home church, the church I became Catholic in so many years ago. The funny little old ladies with their plaques on the pews, the excitement of all the Holy Days in a parish that was so full of life. I miss the stress and incredible joy of 1st Holy Communion and Confirmation. I miss teaching 8th grade catechism.

I miss the familiar of my former life. I miss being able to look out the double glass front doors of my little ‘manor’ and know what sort of day was there. I miss the children in SRE, their bright, shinning faces so full of such glorious promise.

That first sentence in that paragraph is the telling one. I miss the familiar. I am learning about here, I am growing in some knowledge of this part of Ohio; but it is not in any shape or form familiar. It is still very, very foreign. I still feel like I am on the outside of the glass looking in.

And I have to be honest, the other factor is that I see that I just might be able to move out of this cold, hard place I am in right. This place of almost everything being so completely different than anything I have ever had any knowledge of in my life.

I do see the beauty here, but it is so very well hidden sometimes that it takes a Sherlock Holmes to reveal it. The first snow fall, the soft, marshmallow like pristine white snow covering all the scars and dirt and trash with white. The very first peaking out of the very first crocus of the season. The glorious river of every color imaginable of daffodils flowing along the back fence of my neighbors yard. The joyous songs of the birds as they flit and fly around my tiny little yard, eating their fill of the seeds I put out.

Yes, there is good here. But today, I don’t need the good here—I need the reminder that the good I had in California is still there, still good, still mine.

My friend Pat called in the middle of this bit of musing. Her voice took me all the way there to her patio. We talked about the Montage walks, the taco, the walks around the Village over by her house and the wildlife we would see as we strolled. We talked about the people I know there, the church and what is happening there, the weather there, the life to come to me in a few weeks or months as I get ready to move again and mostly touched each others hearts with a soft hug. She gave me a direction for my prayers, a hope for the next phase of my life and as always her love as I keep going forward. A visit with my friend, part of my Ohana.

And now, my heart is happier, the crying jag is tucked back into its bag, the sun is shining, the birds are having dinner, DaBoys are lying here beside me in relaxed contentment. I have some cookies in the oven (the break apart kind), some good lamb chops for dinner, fresh green beans and mushrooms and have touched the heart of love in my friends voice.

God is good. All the time. Even in the midst of a crying jag and longing and being the stranger in a strange place. He always comes along with the perfect assist. All the time. God is good.

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