At Home on Hill Haven

Musings, ramblings, and pontifications on motherhood, unschooling, farming, sustainability, spirit, and life in general...

Location: northwest Georgia, United States

I'm a living-working-breathing mom, writing, mothering, teaching, and soul-searching from our home in northwest Georgia. We are whole-life unschoolers, which basically means our kids actually have a say in what happens to them (it actually means infinitely more than that, but's it's a starting point for discussion). We are also hardcore environmentalists, anti-industrialists, trying to escape from our dependence on petroleum, manufactured products and other non-sustainable practices. We homebirth, homeschool, and homestead, and try to make sense of it all, in a constant whirlwind of chaos.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Crazy Spider Karma

I was just reading blogs (translation: wasting away in front of the computer) when I came across a post about scorpions. I had to comment, and, realizing how pitifully infrequently I post (the birth story is almost done!), felt compelled to share here as well. We haven't had many scorpions in this house (three, I think), but here those are fairly harmless, like a bee sting (unless you're allergic). What I'm loving here in the woods are my darling brown recluse spiders. You know, the highly poisonous ones without an antidote whose bites take many months to heal and leave gi-normous scars? I've smashed something like ten or more this summer. Lurvly.

And when my almost-fiver touched his first spider this year? A black widow! It went like this: I'm weeding in the flowerbed by the back door. The screen door is standing open. Galen comes out and says, "Mom! I touched a spider! See?!" I feign to look and say, "Yeah, wow!" Not fooled, he insists: "No, come LOOK!" Annoyed at the interruption, I obey. There it is, a small black spider stuck on the screen door. I show him, "See? I could see it from over there," moving the screen door to show him that the spider is visible from the other side... and there is the red hourglass. Oh. My. God. HE TOUCHED A FRIGGIN BLACK WIDOW!!! I can only guess that it was already dead, as he obviously was not bitten. I calmly explain that this kind is a poisonous one so I have to smash it, and "We shouldn't touch ones that look like this," and after demolishing the little critter with my Birkenstock I retrieve his spider book from the living room and show him the pictures of the black widow and brown recluse spiders with copious explanation about how we don't want to get bitten by those ones. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

Little did I know how clear I would get on what the brown recluse looks like, too. The first one was in the playroom (good place for it, huh?). It was kind enough to stay still long enough for me to study it and discover, oh, there's the fiddle marking! All this time I thought it was on the abdomen, how silly! Convicted, sentenced, executed. Whew. The socond one was on a dishrag in the kitchen sink, which was full of dirty dishes (perhaps that goes without saying?). It could have been lurking anywhere, just waiting for an innocent and unsuspecting finger to bite. Thankfully Brad was home so he could gently take it outside and save its little life, since he didn't believe me when I told him it was a brown recluse. Doubtless it has now gone on to reproduce zillions of times. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth ones were in the bedroom, mostly in the closet. At least now we have good reason for not putting our shoes where they belong. I left two of their dead bodies as a message to their kin. Number seven I paced past during the night, with bare feet, bouncing Iris back to sleep. I don't know how I missed it, or what possessed me to turn the light on whereby I discovered my near miss. I start wearing shoes in the house. Number eight was cruising the periphery of the kitchen (probably headed for that dirty dishrag he'd heard about from a friend on the outside). Nine, ten, and more were discovered by Brad (who no longer doubts my abilities in spider identification) in the playroom, most behind the freezer. I don't know exactly how many because he confessed that he didn't tell me about "some" because he "didn't want me to worry." Oh goodie. The umpteenth was upstairs in my craft room, with friends in both closets, some of whom got away and I am positive are plotting even now to avenge their compatriots. The most recent one was in the tub. Great. Now I need shoes for the shower.

I must have some crazy spider karma, that's all I know.

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