It is long standing policy in our house hold to let spiders be. Large Wolf spiders scurrying across the kitchen floor are relocated outside. Adorable little jumping spiders are admired and cute crab like spiders left alone. Outside the huge barn and garden spiders are named and watched in awe as they consume flies and wasps and other pests. The only exceptions to these rules are scary looking spiders that look like they might be brown recluses and anything shiny and black no matter the size. I am terrified of Black Widows.

I threw away a perfectly good vacuum once after sucking up a Black Widow. I have nearly died of heart attacks after coming into entirely to close of proximity to them. I hate them. Maybe worse than Brow Recluse but only because they are more easily recognizable and I have recognized them way too often.

The other night we were making a final sweep of kids rooms making sure everything was put away and down for the night. The lights were off, with only the faint glow of nightlights to see by. I saw, very clearly against the white of the door, the outline of a large spider. Interesting I thought, the outline had to be of barn spider type, it certainly wasn’t our usual house pet. I walked over, to the other side of the kitchen, and turned on the light.


Back across the kitchen again I took a closer look. I didn’t need to get very close to recognize the huge, shiny, bulbous back end of a black widow. Now, I kill spiders. I am perfectly capable. I don’t run in fear or scream like a girl, very often. I took off running through the house screaming, somewhat quietly, even more than I wanted the spider gone I didn’t want to wake children.

My big, strong and, most importantly, male husband, who had just taken out his contacts, popped his head out of the bathroom to see what the commotion was about. Or maybe see is the wrong word here. He wanted to know what he was supposed to do about it, he was dressed for bed and could hardly see. I told him tough, he’s the man he gets to kill spiders. I should get to play the girl card once in awhile.

He, very willingly all things considered, went to rid our house of this scourge. I coward at the edge of the kitchen as he inspected it once more then smashed it to bits. After the joyous slaughter we ventured closer to inspect it. We couldn’t see a red marking but there wasn’t much left of it either.

He spent the rest of the night trying to get me settled. I was in tears, that horrid spider had been close to my babies. Who knew how long it had been in our house, close to us. I was completely freaked out. Have I mentioned I hate Black Widows? This one had been huge, bigger around than a quarter and that was just her body.

Possibly the thing that bothered me the most in the long term, because I have stepped foot back into the kitchen, was hearing my mom’s voice coming out of my mouth as I ran screaming. Not that I don’t like my mom. I’m happy to acknowledge our many similarities. But screaming with her voice as I ran from a spider was a little too glaring a reminder that in the end, no matter what we do, we all turn into our mothers.

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The Night Daisy Got Whipped By A Racoon

Probably one night of many, but the one that we know about.

Daisy was barking, loud and frantic. I was trying to put 8 to bed and it was annoying. He kept saying Daisy, Daisy instead of thinking about settling down. She spends lots of time barking, we usually assume Coyotes and wish she would be quiet. Especially when it’s right outside our bedroom window.

My hard working husband was going up the backstairs, I asked if he could yell at Daisy while he was up there. He stepped out the door then rushed back in cussing and grabbing his rifle. He charged down the stairs gathering ammo as he ran. Daisy had been standing outside our back door barking frantically, really very worried and upset, at a racoon standing happily eating her dog food. Right next to the house. She had been helpless to do anything but stand there and yell at it and it didn’t care. The racoon had run off a ways when the door opened but he didn’t doubt it would be back.

Daisy was in the house by then cowering happily away from the big mean racoon. I was called up the stairs to see, outside the window, the racoon, back again, contentedly chowing down on the remaining dog food. He was big. Apparently bigger than Daisy wanted anything to do with. I left my coon hunting husband to work in peace. Unfortunately he missed, vehicles everywhere and a running racoon in the dark but as far as we know the racoon hasn’t been back.

Of course the dog food is gone, that could have something to with it.

Category: Dogs  One Comment

Near Death Experiences

The three of us stood at the sink doing dishes. If I kept my elbows tight at my sides I could almost fit. Some dishes were getting cleaned, lots of water wound up on the floor. 8 decided to get down and do other things, I breathed a big sigh of relief. Keeping half an eye on him while we finished dishes I watched him pick up the big purple ball and leave the kitchen. I felt comfortable knowing he had found something harmless to play with.

The Goblin Child and I happily washed dishes, splashing and playing. I glanced up to check on 8 and saw that the ball was flat. I did a double take, we have many flat balls scattered around thanks to Rusty, I was sure the one he was playing with had air in it last time I looked though. On closer inspection his other hand held a kitchen knife. He stood there clutching his knife and murdered ball, looking like a small, deranged, killer from some Halloween horror flick. I dropped whatever I was holding and ran for him before his murderous rampage could continue.


Category: 8  One Comment

The Coming of Fall

It’s that time of year again. My summer loving, gardener husband is sinking into depression and I am loving fall. The pumpkins came back amazingly well after the hail and we’ll have a few if not the usual boatload. The weather is turning cooler, we haven’t had a frost yet and I think I’m going to die when it hits eighty.


The Goblin Child was adorable making the pumpkin lights talk while she “helped put them up.


We went to the Octoberfest put on as a fundraiser for the Lister Sage community center. We went last year without the children and were sad because everyone else had their kids there and it looked like so much fun. This year they came and were so cute dancing and playing with friends.

Power Problems

The wind has been howling for days. Sometimes it seems that it never stops. Over the weekend we began to notice, as we sat upstairs watching TV, that the light in the kitchen would blink off. The light by us and the TV never blinked. Then it started to have brown outs and go out long enough that clocks needed reset, but still the upstairs lights never fluttered.

It was very strange and more than a little disconcerting to be loosing power in half of the house.

We didn’t burn up in our sleep and didn’t notice it during the day, possibly because we didn’t have any lights on. My always working husband was busy all day with farm stuff and didn’t have a chance to look into it and we kind of forgot about it until night time when the lights would pull slowly down to black and hang there for a moment then come back on, while upstairs nothing happened. The internet was downstairs and got disconnected and the clocks were blinking twelve, the NAS (the fancy computer thingy with our TV shows and movies on it) would blink off so what ever we were watching would go away but the TV stayed lit. It was scary.

It was also getting late on a Saturday night, no one was around or going to be around anytime soon to call about it. We didn’t want the house to burn down around us as we slept or for the constant power outages to kill our ancient refrigerator or the computer stuff. We (my husband, that is, with me following him around) went looking for the problem.

First he figured out exactly which plugins and lights were effected. Then he found them in the fuse box, they were all down one side. He tightened all of what ever you tighten in a fuse box and we rechecked the house. It didn’t change anything. He got out his tester stuff and watched as each brown out pulled the power down to nearly nothing, but only on the one side.

We went outside and watched the pole the power lines come in from an didn’t see any sparks but were strongly leaning towards that as the problem. Apparently 240 volts comes into the house in the form of two 120 wires, one to each side of the fuse box. The wires are old with the insulation long since worn out and gone and a trees branches well grown through them, all of which were blowing violently in the wind. It was easy to see where trouble could arise. Unfortunately it was after ten on a very dark night, nothing was going to happen any time soon.

For the time being anything that could be shut off on that half of the fuse box was. Unfortunately that included the freezer and refrigerator but better off than broken. They would be ok over night. We slept well in a very dark room without clocks and quiet without the hum of electricity.

The next day after very important farm stuff got done he went to work on the wiring. His dad drove the payloader and lifted my daring husband up to check the, live, wires going into the house. As he perched precariously on the edge of the bucket he carefully tested the bare wires. From below his dad offered helpful advise and tried, enthusiastically, to get him to poke the wires with a screw driver.

One wire checked at the proper voltage, the other at nothing. Then they shut the power off for the fun part.

I stood below and watched helplessly as he stood his ladder up in the bucket of the payloader reached to its full extension against the power pole. With breath held I watched him balance on the wobbly ladder and scale the pole. With a quick wiggle of the wires he found the problem. Sure enough the connection was loose. It was pockmarked from the arcing as the aluminum wire sparked where it wiggled loose against copper. He climbed down the ladder back into the bucket and asked for wrenches then climbed back up. He wrapped one arm around the post to reach the bolt and tightened the connection then clambered down again. Done at last.

My daring husband had survived all of the hazards and we had unblinking electricity again. It hasn’t shut off since.



Category: Family  3 Comments

Yet Another Horse

Well technically he’s been here all along but now he’s mine! For reals and for true. I took the leap and adopted Rusty. He’s been coming along so well and other people were starting to show interest in him, I couldn’t let him go. He has come a long way since he showed up here last January, a furry little ball of rotten. He’s certainly much prettier with his winter coat shed out, but it’s fall now he’s turning back into a woolly mammoth. I’ve been riding him and teaching him some tricks along with, hopefully, some steering and other useful riding type things.

To celebrate this momentous occasion I started Rusty a facebook page, Rescuing Rusty just like the blog. Mostly just as a link to his blog but also a few videos that are too long for the blog. My facebook hating husband is, of course, horrified.

It has been a long and great trip from the time he first stepped off the trailer, nervous and running over everyone, to now, riding pretty good and my silly trick horse. I had been missing a horse to train on, I didn’t realize how much I had been missing it. God, as usual, sent me just the horse I needed exactly when I needed him. Without me even knowing that I was lacking.

Category: Horses  One Comment

I’ve Mentioned Haven’t I, That My Husband is Brilliant?

Last time it was the batteries for the kids toys. This time it’s music for 8, and us once we saw how cool his was.

I wanted to have a way to play music for 8 as he goes to sleep. The Goblin Child has a computer in her room but there’s no room for that in his. We talked about ways to go about it and a Raspberry Pi came up. Next thing I knew he was fiddling around in there with some speakers and the tiny box that is a Raspberry Pi.

By bed time 8 had music.

In his free time my brilliant, hard working husband had found a Linux based audio player, Runeaudio, and installed it on the Raspberry Pi. Now from his phone, mine is not compatible sadly, and any of our computers we can choose music from what’s available on the NAS (network attached storage, a project from last winter). Now, run from the little box on his dresser beautiful music (classical and Big Smith an eclectic  assortment) plays from the speakers.

It was pretty darn cool. By the next night we had one too! Music, different music, now streams from every room of our house. Now he thinks he’s found an alarm clock program for it. What more new and exciting things can he possibly find to top the wonders he has already worked?

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We were recently given two little cars for the kids. To be exact, a pink and purple fourwheeler and an airplane. The kids loved them. They sat on them for hours, in kid time, in adult time that means whole minutes at a time. They pushed the buttons to make them honk and lights flash and propellers whirl. The only problem was that they didn’t go. Not a problem for the kids, they didn’t know they were supposed to do anything more. It was only us older folk who thought there was anything at all amiss.

My always brilliant husband looked at them and discovered that one needed a battery, the other a charger. That’s not what makes him brilliant we all mostly knew that much. What makes him so darned cool is that upon discovering the ridiculous prices of accoutrements for kids toys he figured out a much better alternative.

With a little further research he found fixes better than the originals. The fourwheeler got a new bigger battery that charges on the tiny car battery charger that works for the plane. Perfect, and less than half the cost to replace the original equipment. He’s so awesome.

The kids are loving them just as much now that they go and are adorable trucking slowly across the yard.





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At Least She’s Learning Something At School

When we ask what she’s done in school she shrugs and says ” I don’t know”. We have received a few papers and evidence that they have worked on a couple of letters, A and F. Not sure why F followed A instead of B but hey, what ever. She already knows her alphabet and all her letters though so it doesn’t really count as learning something new.

The other day we had some friends over for supper. Both our friends and hers. During conversation she broke into song, loudly and with lots of hand movements to accompany. She sang it over and over again. After the first few times our joy that she had learned a new song at school and even remembered it! began to be overcome by a wish that she please sing it later maybe? She finished and refused to sing it again afterwards when we asked to hear it.

I was able to get her to sing it for me one more time and caught it on video. I know, and am glad that, she enjoys music class, the teacher is excellent, and it’s the only class she’s learned anything in apparently.

Category: Goblin Child  2 Comments

We Had So Much Fun We Decided To Do It Again

She keeps telling me that she doesn’t like horses, I’m the one who likes horses. But when 8 headed off with his father in a tractor this morning she thought maybe we could go for another ride. I jumped at the chance.