Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Things are bigger in Ventura. This cactus, for example -  it's thirty feet tall.
This giant Bird of Paradise dwarfs its owner...
...and this spider that almost ended up in my hair was huge!
A good part of her web did end up in my hair - she was not amused. "Pregnant and I still have to rebuild my web - really!" 

I rescue snakes, I love that we have a king snake in our yard - very shy, but sometimes we see him sliding smoothly along the base of a step, or around the bbq. I find garter snakes under rocks and boards and carefully put them in a safe place, away from the birds and the little boys.But I'm not a spider fan. In fact I wrote a story...


I had my arms full of the groceries I was bringing in from my car when I saw him - a big hairy black tarantula, waving his legs in distinctive creepy tarantula fashion.  He was on the back door mat, heading for the kitchen door. I expect he would have knocked politely if I had not screamed. I don’t know if spiders have acute hearing, but my scream shook the walls and vibrated down the street.

From the safety of the street I called my mom - not home. Rats. She is tarantula fearless. She hangs her bath towels outside to dry and frequently has an eight-legged hairy hitchhiker on her bed when she's folding the dry towels. She scoops them up and gently sets them outside. But she wasn’t home.

I called Wally. He was at lunch with a friend, and was unsympathetic. 

“Just pick up the doormat and drag it outside.” Ah, but that would mean being in the same county - the same room -with the hairy beast.

“He won’t hurt you.” Yeah, but I might hurt myself trying to get away if he so much as twitched.

He refused to come home from his lunch date to rescue me. In normal circumstances I am a most capable person - we were all girls; we learned to install garbage grinders (when we  were expecting dinner guests in an hour, but that is another story.) We learned to hang drywall, and to paint, to rewire lamps and light switches, to move furniture and catch mice. But this was too much. Even for me. Drag the mat? Is he kidding?

“Just leave it until I get home.”

Yeah, and wonder for the rest of my life every time I go into the garage if the hairy beast was about to drop from the rafters down the back of my neck. Nope. I did what any self-respecting capable woman would do.

“Honey, I’m checking in to the Lafayette Park Hotel. A suite. And I’m calling a realtor - the house will be on the market by the time you get home.”

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