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I am going to be lazy and recycle an old post from an old blog…

(In my Twitter feed I saw a tweet about a large spider, and it reminded me about this night that I wrote about on my old blog…)

Last night I went to bed late. Midnight to be precise. I was sort of ok with this, because 5 hours is the least amount of sleep I can get and still function semi decently.

Emphasis on semi.

Should I get 4 hours and 55 minutes, then it becomes semi indecently. Really, my mind just sort of implodes at that point.
Anyway, confident in a full five hours I pulled the covers up and started to drift off.
Mid-drift I heard growling, and snarling and thumping.
It came closer…
and closer…

Till I had one large cat with a kitten in hot pursuit galloping all over my bed.
I yelled and they ran off.
The husband…he was breathing the deep breaths of a soundly sleeping man.
I pulled the covers up and started drifting and achieved full sleep.
Then “Mom!!”
I screamed in terror.
My daughter screamed and then laughed at me for screaming. She was hovering over my head and shaking me.
The husband…he kept breathing.
“What? Are you ok?”
“No…there is a HUGE spider in my room.”
“Ok, where?”
“In my room!”
“Yes, I know that, but where?”
“On the wall”
“Which wall”
“Come see”
I struggled out of bed and grabbed my glasses so I wouldn’t be trying to catch a blurry spider and since this was a 7 yr old, I figured her big spider would really be small and I would need glasses to see it.
We get to her room and I ask where it is and she points.
“That grey thing on the wall”
“WHAT THE…..???!!!”
(I was tired at this point and not sure what really came out of my mouth, but I think I kept it in my head and didn’t teach her any new words)
This was truly a spider that qualified as HUGE, like Jurassic era, caveman spider, horror movie stand in spider.
I ran for my trusty Dyson that I use to suck up any manner of creepy thing I find in my house.
I dragged the Dyson up the stairs. It is now 2am.
The daughter disappears into my bed and leaves me to fight off this horrid thing…alone.
I plug in the vacuum and pull out the wand that makes an awesome clicking sound when I am using it…reminds me of the Terminator and I always say “lock and load” when I am using it to suck up a creepy thing. (yep my life is THAT awesome and exciting that I need to do things like that)
Anyway, I aim the end of the wand at the spider…he moves.
The vacuum sucks it into the opening of the wand, and the damn thing got out, and crawled on the wall a bit. It just wiggled its giant spider legs and heaved itself out of the suction generated by the vacuum that never loses suction.
It started to dawn on me that my Dyson was no match for this creature, and I had to be hands on.

Thankfully, my restless sleeper of a daughter had knocked her pillow onto the floor, and the spider fell onto that. I picked up the pillow,oh SO carefully, and carried it to the bathroom and talked to the spider words of comfort and happy things, and lies.  Lies about letting it go, free to wander.
Because really, I took it to the bathroom, knocked it into the toilet and flushed.
Spiders that big can probably hang on and climb back out of toilets, you know.
I head back to bed, and shove into the middle between happily deep breathing, deep sleeping husband and restless sleeper daughter.
I drift off…and then I hear. “Yip!” 30 seconds later “Yip!” and so on.
So I start yelling from my bed. “DAISY SHUT UP!”
Amazingly, no one wakes up.
At night it is like I am a ghost in my own house.
Now it is about 3am. I fall asleep.
4:30 am and the dog is barking incessantly, she needs to go out.
I get up and take her out.
Normally I wake up between 4:30 and 5, take her out, start the coffee and read or write.  This morning I stared at the coffee maker, thought about the non-sleep I had, and went to the couch and passed out till 7.


A Young Buck and a Rooster Have a Conversation….

The deer came to visit and I took this photo out my living room window with my iPhone(sorry for the photo quality. I took it out of my living room window with my iPhone)

He wandered into the little apple orchard that is on the south side of my house. The chickens like to hang out around there and eat bugs, once they found a mouse nest and ate the mouselings (chickens are not vegetarians…at all.)

I caught this moment with the buck and my rooster with 3 of our hens.  I wondered (if animals spoke to each other) what they would be saying. Would he be inquiring about food? Or asking Dread Rooster Fairy’s advice on winning over the ladies?

The Battle of the Weather. Written by my eight year old daughter

Storm rolling in. Autumn 2011

BOOM, CRACKLE, POP! went the roaring loud thunder yelling at

The bright blinding yellow lightning

flash flash flash yelled the lightning back

Then the raindrops fell down one by one

Plop by plop

and said “Freedom is here!” but….

AAAARRRROOOOO yelled the dogs

AAAAARRRROOOO they whimpered again

The dark clouds watched while they poured down the talking rain

Then the sun joined the fight

and won.

The raindrops yelled once more “The sun is here now. Freedom is nowhere, for us at least”

“Goodbye” yelled the sun to the dried up raindrops.

“Did you have a nice drip?’



Holding on to Dead Things

This past weekend I took my boys to an antique shop. We love looking at old, used things and sometimes find something unique enough to buy. This was one of those trips.  As we perused the shop my oldest son called out to me “Mom, HOW did you miss this?” By his tone I could tell he found something truly curious.  I walked back and he was holding a preserved shark. Naturally, we needed to buy it.  The boys said they would share it and would take turns having it stay in their rooms. Currently, it is on our mantle in the living room because both of them are too freaked out to sleep in the same room as it.

It is disgusting, yet fascinating all sealed up in a glass jar with a cork bottom.

Today, I drove past a church sign that said “God brings storms into our lives to knock down the dead branches we hold on to”.  I tend to find church signs a bit corny, but this one stood out.  I think because the past couple years of my life have been rather stormy.  Along with the storms that have passed through, I have also had a tremendous time of personal growth, and at times  felt like I was  stripped to the core.  Many “dead branches” have been felled.

The useless parts of ourselves, the things we hold on to past their time…they are the things that hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be.  They are comfortable parts, to be sure, but comfortable is not always the best thing.  It is good to have them stripped away, because it is then that a person can truly see who they are, get a sense of what they can accomplish and the courage to push forward and do it.

Look within and find those dead things. Figure out how to unload them as quickly as possible. The clarity that follows, even though the stripping away may be painful, will be so worthwhile.

Exploding Eyeball.

I saw one today.

But let me back up….

A couple of months ago a very skinny and dirty grey and white cat with the most amazing green eyes showed up on our porch. I fed him and the kids started calling him Hodge. He was a sweet cat, always ready for a pat, and constantly meowing. He made a bed out of the woodpile on the porch.

When I took the dogs out he would rub against them and smack the Cattle Dog in the head when she was too annoying. Hodge and our resident cat Burrito…who was a kitten that came from another stray (his mom now lives with my mother in law) were built in playmates. Burrito annoys our older cats, but Hodge was more than happy to play.

Once Hodge even found himself treed by the chickens…

While I was in Dominican Republic, something happened to him. My mother in law had stayed with the kids while we were gone, and when we got home she told me that something got Hodge’s eye.

He showed up eventually, and his eyeball had been seriously injured. He had no other injuries, so I’m assuming he raided the wrong bird nest, or got too close to the rooster.  I wasn’t able to get him straight into the vet, and he was behaving fine, still eating, and still affectionate-even though I wasn’t feeling the affection. He looked like a zombie cat. Big, red swollen orb, with fur matted on it, blood and fluid leaking out.

The next day he showed up, and it looked better…and then he disappeared for a few days.

This morning I was able to catch him and put him in the carrier to go to the vet.  The vet said his eye was clearly ruptured, and when she tried to move the hair his eyeball exploded. Literally.  Fluid SHOT across the exam table, and all over the vet.

Eyeballs gross me out. I worked at a Vet office before, and I could handle anything gross, hot spots with maggots, abscesses, stirring poo in a cup to do a fecal slide to check for worm eggs. No big deal. Eyeballs…big deal.  When I see a bad injury, or am seriously grossed out, I start laughing.  I laughed while tears streamed down my cheeks. Thankfully the vet knows me enough and my background to not think I’m deranged. She laughed at me and offered me some water.

Anyway, I opted for the eyeball removal surgery, since it was either that or put him down.  Mind you, my camera died and I am just starting up a photography business, and the surgery is almost as much as the camera I am saving for.  I never knew an eyeball could be so pricey.

Logically, this really makes no sense to me. He is a stray that hangs out and I feed. I have no real attachment to him but I CANNOT put him down. Yet, I need to buy a camera soon as I have several jobs to get done. I had to analyze this because it’s what I do.

My conclusion is:

I’m tired of death.  My mom died two years ago, my older brother died three years ago, we put our 11-year-old Lab down last year, my extended family has had some serious health scares, including being in a highly precarious life or death situation.  He is a cat, but he is a young, healthy cat and since he is here I feel some responsibility for him. Hodge is helpless.  Also, my daughter has tried to raise money for him. She is 8. Her passion is amazing and she has told everyone about Hodge and his eye since it happened…and then hitting them up for money. So far she has raised $40.  I can’t come home and say, “Sorry, I didn’t want to pay the money and I euthanized him” and then look in her big brown eyes.  Or my middle son who dutifully made the drawing to go with the collection jar, and named the cat.

The camera can wait, and we will have a one-eyed cat.  It is only money and can be made again.

Keep Smiling

Last week I experienced something absolutely mind-boggling.

My husband and I were flying to Dominican Republic for a business convention and I realized that I was no longer afraid of flying.  Typically, I am a big mess of worry, and in sensory overload.  I do not like small spaces, I enjoy personal space, need fresh air and flying challenges my ability to tolerate all of that being taken away. Not to mention that some person I do not know has my life in their hands as they fly the plane.

This trip though was different. I enjoyed it. The sensation of take off became exhilarating and looking out the window when the plane turned and seeing the world below was breathtaking.

Since this was so weird I had to think about why.

The answer I came away with was that my life has become so unpredictable and at times frightening, that I have had to adjust mentally. When my husband was diagnosed with a progressive neurological disease and our lives changed pretty drastically I came to realize some new truths.

1) I’m not in control

2) Life is uncertain.

3) Life is painful

4) Life will always have moments of beauty

5) No matter what, as long as I keep perspective and seeking Beauty…I can navigate through it.

I am happier now than I ever have been.  The image that comes to my mind when I think of my life is of me standing in a hurricane and watching the wind, waves and rain….and smiling as everything around me gets torn to bits.

More on this later…


My goal for the next several weeks is to push against my created comfort zone when it comes to self-restraint in writing. The tendency, as I am writing, is that I sound too formal…what is happening isn’t raw enough for the story I am telling.  My attempted reasoning is that even if I manage to push too far I can reel it back in during the editing process, which is how I was able to move past the “this is crap” trash talking followed by massive deletion. (see…right there, I wrote crap, I am not even fully comfortable with crap. My first impulse was to write shit…but I couldn’t do it, so I just did) Ever see The King’s Speech? The part where the guy had the king say swear words, and he came up with very tame ones? That is me.  Or maybe even Ned Flanders.

My new mantra is: What I write is allowed to be crap, and it will be allowed to disturb me. And I will write from that model.

Bret Easton Ellis…is who I keep thinking about.  American Psycho was the first book I ever read through, that troubled me so much that I tossed it in the trash. I cannot see any restraint to his imagination as he writes.  I admire that about his writing, even if it gives me bad dreams, and I worry about his mental state.


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