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Monday, October 01, 2007

October 1, 2007

I'm good at a few things but blogging and gardening are definitely not in that category.

Because I'm a bad blogger, you haven't heard from me in a while. Because I'm a bad gardener, I stared death in the face this weekend. It's a leap to connect that cause and effect, but in this story it's true. Here's the story: I have tried three times to plant bushes along my back fence to create some privacy between our yard and the alley. Of course, a brand new privacy fence would do the trick, but that's not going to happen. So, the second round of plants I put back there are dying. I planned to dig them up and put them in the buckets they came in originally, then park them in a sunnier location to see if they could recover.

So, I start looking for the original planters. I find all but one in the shed. The last one was thrown haphazardly in the back corner of the yard. I grabbed it and carted it over to the plants with the rest of the buckets. After I set it down, I looked inside. I saw a big black spider. Being of the frame of mind that the only good spider is a dead spider, I killed it. But, because I was a zoologist in a former life, I wondered what kind it was. So, I turned it over. And, to my shock and horror I found a bright orange hour-glass shape on the bottom of the body. Since this is the tel-tale sign of a black widow, I promptly started freaking out at the thought that I had just carried this planter (with holes in the bottom) across the yard withing noticing that it could have crawled out at any moment and killed me. That was my first stare-down with the afterlife over the weekend.

The second came a little later the same day. I had to take a shower after my gardening experience, so I went to the linen closet to get a clean towel. Thank goodness I didn't have my glasses on, because I didn't immediately freak out when I saw something scurry from the linen closet. I put on my glasses and saw a big brown spider, which I promptly killed. Thanks to a half-off coupon to the Nashville Zoo, Dan and I learned all about poisonous spiders a couple of weeks ago. I recalled my zoo trip and realized that the unwelcomed guest was a brown recluse.

I hope no one planned to drop by for an unannounced visit this weekend, because you will enter our home to a cloud of toxic chemicals. Don't worry, we won't leave the dogs inside. Just don't plan to drop by if you value your life. I don't think anyone could survive the amount of pesticide I plan to use to rid us of our deadly little roommates.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Jan -- I saw that Mitt Romney is the cover boy on Newsweek -- what do you think? How are things -- I like your simpsonesque picture. We are going a mile a minute here -- PRof. Johnson expects a lot of press for his Oct. 10 JAMA cover story on a new alcohol treatment.

I've got a new house and 2 kittens. Max is Junior Class President! Rosa is sassy 9th grader, and has a personal style that her mother can only dream about.

Take care and come back for a visit! MJ

Joanna said...

Oh my goodness! I think I'd fear a Black Widow more than a Brown Recluse. We've got the former here in C'ville, but usually in rural areas (our friends in Stanardsville had them!). But didn't MO teach you about Brown Recluses? Dan should know! Shake your shoes/slippers before you put them on in the morning. I can't tell you the number of times I saw a Brown Recluse in Columbia. My friend's mom was bitten by one once, and still has a nasty hole of scar to prove it. Ugh!

Be safe! We miss you guys. You come up in conversation often, especially when we're out and about with Becca, David, and the kids. :)