Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Of snakes and spiders and creepy crawly things

First off...and only because I'm proud as all get out...I got an A+ on my molecular test. 106 out of 100. Quite the improvement from a 59 on the last test. And 59 was a B last time, so I was still on the good end of the curve last time. Most of the class did much better than last time, and going to the help sessions and doing all that hanging out on campus studying really helped. So now I have high hopes of an A in the class. Phew!

You can tell that the weather is finally improving. All Mother Nature's creatures are coming out from their slumber and basking in the sun and the warmer temps. Highs yesterday were in the 60s, and today topped out in the low 70s, both days with brilliant blue skies. The crabapples are starting to bloom, and the small bushes and trees are sending out green shoots. The frogs have been singing in the ponds lately too.

Because of this, some of the things that were previously hanging out in dark holes to slumber are now coming out to say hello. Now, I've never been much of a basement person. Goes back to my uncle's basement when I was a kid. You know the kind. Dark, damp, laden with cobwebs. And what is it with old basements having random creepy bathroom facilities? My uncle's had a shower. Nothing but a shower head and a curtain hanging on a rod and a drain in the middle of the concrete floor. Creeped me out everytime I went down there, which, mind you, was not often, but these things only take once or twice to take effect. This fear of basements plagues me still. When we first moved into this house, the basement was half finished, but it was still dark, damp, and had a shower stall on the unfinished side. The ceiling in the shower stall was open to the rafters, and I could never get up the unction to get in and clean up. Maybe I saw too many horror flicks as a kid where the spiders dropped down on the poor unsuspecting gal while she soaped. That's always where the psycho killers get their victim, too. I'm sure they were all basement showers. Or I thought that I never could get clean in a dirty basement. Mostly it was the creep factor.

Our basement is now mostly (and very nicely) finished save for the utility room. There is plenty of light, and it doesn't feel like a basement except for the utility room. Which is where I don't go unless I need tools for something or a cleaning supply or to get out decorations. While the basement is nicely finished, we still get our fair share of creepy crawlies. Centipedes of a couple different varieties, daddy long legs spiders, and this time of year, fat hairy spiders. We sometimes get them in the shower, likely from crawling through the exhaust fan. You can see where I'm going with this, right?

So I'm in the basement bathroom this morning getting ready to go to class. In our bathroom, there are a multitude of rolls of toilet paper. One on the dispenser where it belongs, and this morning, another on the sink likely displaced from upstairs. Heaven knows why. While applying my lotion, I overindulged and needed a quick piece to dab at the extra. So I grabbed some from the roll on the counter and then put the roll back down where I found it. As I was putting it back down, I caught something out of the corner of my eye in the center of the roll. At first, I thought I was putting the toilet paper on top of something else (my bathroom is always in disarray, despite efforts otherwise), so I peered down the center of the cardboard tube to see what I had hidden. Turns out something was hiding...and not of my doing.

I have no idea what kind of spider this guy was, but he was pretty hairy. Now, I used to be horribly squeamish and scared of spiders. I can pretty well guarantee that if one crawls on me I'll have a conniption and dance freakishly. I am not a huge fan and won't be making pets of tarantulas (though I might an inchworm...another story for another time) any time soon. Now that I have children, I'm trying not to pass my phobias on to them. Spiders do important things. They eat other crawly things and flies. They just don't belong in my house. Used to be if I saw one, I would holler for the exterminator (hubby), and he could come smush the spider with whatever flat thing happened to be handy and then remove the carcass. Now, I'm getting braver as I mature. I took two cups that happened to be in the bathroom (See...disarray has its occasional advantages). One over the top of the roll, delicately picked up the roll and rested it atop the other cup and carried it outside. I then left the roll on the back porch to give Mr. Spider time to whether he was ready to vacate or not.

I came back this afternoon, and the dog (or the wind, who knows?) had moved the roll off the porch and into the back yard. I peeked into the tube, and wouldn't you know, the darn thing hadn't moved out. I decided to give him a nudge and picked the roll up and dropped it, hoping to jar him out, but he built himself a nice nest in there and didn't fall out. I'm thinking the roll is going in the outside trash can. The trash man can figure it out next week. I did my duty in putting him back outside where he belongs and was nice in not squishing him into oblivion.

And of other slithery things....I went on a nice long bike ride yesterday not far from campus. The weather was spectacular, and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Part of what I love about this area is the plethora of parks and bike/hike trails that are nearby. So I took the mountain bike and rode out the bike/hike trail. I always see some fun wildlife on my trips. Usually birds, sometimes deer, the occasional hedgehog (which I did see yesterday!), and plenty of chipmunks and squirrels.

As I rode along the trail yesterday, I rode past something that looked like a coiled piece of rope or rubber. Something in the back of my head said, "gee...that looked like a snake." Curiosity got the best of me, so I looped back around. And it was. A snake. A skinny little garter snake, about 10 inches long and greenish brown. Cute for a snake. My gramma always said the only good snake is a dead one, and this one was. Someone had come along, quite recently, and run poor little Garter over. I felt bad/sad, since he looked like a decent little guy, and out of respect for the dead, and the fact that the ladies riding behind me would think I was a kook, I put Mr. Snake back in the grass to lie peacefully. I had never really thought about snakes being prevalent around here, which I'm sure they are, but they just hide from people. Now I'll be looking for them on our visits to nature.

I can see my little J man making jokes about it. Mom...why did the snake cross the trail? Why did the chicken cross the road is his favorite joke to tell. He delivers the punch line with such gusto that you can't help but laugh. I can't help but wonder what a good punch line would be? Certainly not to get to the other side!!

1 comment:

Sourire11 said...

Ah yes – the creepy crawly part of the basement. I have one of those too… only mine has a half bath in it. It’s pretty complete but I won’t go down there… I’ve dubbed it the men’s room and the only time it gets used is when my husband has the guys over to drink beer and play pool. And I still make my husband act as exterminator in our house. Good for you for being brave! And congrats on your test!!!