Important Update: My Toes Are Not Cold

Today was filled with wonderful moments and stressful ones.

Which really isn’t that different than any other day I suppose.

Except that today the things that brought me joy were the simple ones I often lose sight of in my day to dailies–a shared laugh, the perfect color of blue-green, the smiles of friends reflected in the light.  And the things that brought me stress were things that are also nearly always present–the ever growing dust bunny population, the inside of my pantry, my spider problem (okay, to be honest, even ONE is a problem, but yes, this is a thing), and the lack of action by my people the first time I ask them to do something.

I got to the end of the evening, having just sat down here to write, and I noticed Miss Sophie panting.  She ran around and had the best time outside this evening, and she just enticed two of us to play her twisted game of Fetch.  She’s worn out, but I also realized she is probably warm.

Warm.

In that moment, I did a quick assessment and realized, my toes aren’t cold.

My toes are NOT cold.

Well, hallelujah and color me ecstatic!

While some may claim we’ve had a mild winter or that I’m a wimp, I still have to say that my toes have been cold for months.  I’VE been cold for months.

And, no offense to Winter or anything, I’m over it.

Tonight in the hustle and chaos that comes with even the best of things, I had slipped in and out of my sandals several times, and it didn’t fully register with me.

Y’ALL, I WORE SANDALS FOR THE FIRST TIME AGAIN TODAY.

And this wasn’t the “flip flops are the only thing by the door, I’m only running out to the car, surely my toes won’t fall off frozen in those three minutes” kind of wearing sandals.  This was no kidding, this is the attire of choice AND weather appropriate.

WEATHER APPROPRIATE.  I don’t know if Spring is really here, since my Granny always warned about the Easter Cold Snap and we have two more weeks until Easter, but what I can tell you is TODAY WAS GLORIOUS.

And yet, in the midst of it, I was totally oblivious to my toes’ joy.  I wasn’t fully appreciating that this was what they’d been waiting on for months, until I sat down and reflected on it tonight.

 

Y’all.  We wait on something.  We hope for something.  We think on it and, in the middle of a cold season, we dream of what it might be like for that thing to BE.  And then one day it is, and so much is going on, we have a hard time recognizing it and really getting that, WE MADE IT.  All the good has come that we dreamt of, and we are so distracted, it just slides right in there as our reality and we don’t even notice it or fully appreciate it at first.

Here’s to the moments of realizing the joy of being warm, of finding light, of wishes and hopes becoming reality.  Here’s to all of us who dream in winter of longer days and laughter and love and toes that aren’t cold.  And here’s to those realities that just slip in the back door and surprise us so much we laugh out loud and wiggle our happy toes.

Love to all.

img_1730

Happy toes.  Unpainted, yes.  But Happy.

 

On Buzzing Bees, Balance and Joy

The past two mornings as I’ve taken Sophie out for her morning constitutional I’ve been delighted to see bees.

Yes, bees.

See, I’m worried about them. I have friends who raise bees, and I’m really worried.  I’ve heard lots and lots about how the bees are disappearing, and folks don’t know why or they do know why and it’s not good news.  I’ve seen the pictures of all the food we would NOT have if we didn’t have bees.  It’s not a pretty picture.

So yes, I see bees dancing around in my front yard and I want to dance too.

I didn’t see them much as I walked on.  I think that’s the case for two reasons–one, our grass hasn’t been cut as recently so it’s a couple of inches high and there’s something tiny flowering out there.  Two, we don’t spray.  For weeds or bugs or anything.

I’m so confused.

I see folks asking about spraying for mosquitoes or other insects.  I pass folks’ yards on our walks with the signs in the front yard.  The name of the company happily emblazoned in big bold letters and in tiny print “Insecticide applied–stay off grass.” Or “weed killer applied, keep off.”  Oh me.  True confession time:  I am terrified to walk on their grass–even days later.  When the children were very small I made them cross the streets to get away from the “sprayed” yards.  And now, with Miss Sophie, I don’t let her near the sprayed yards either.

I was traumatized years ago by a large can of industrial strength insecticide used for cattle in the pastures.  It helped keep the flies down.  Only this was being used indoors, and…..I still shudder when I think about it.  I can’t and don’t do bug sprays.  That’s it.

We do have some all-natural sprays made with essential oils.  And if the fact that the mosquitoes circling around on July 4th, big enough to tote off a cat or small dog, didn’t bite us once is any testimony, it’s good stuff.  And it smells so good.

The word balance keeps coming to mind.  And not because my Cousin and I were just speaking about it.  I despise spiders.  Actually I don’t despise them, I am terrified of them.  When I was little, Mama read the book “Be Nice to Spiders” to me to show me they are our friends and we need them.

Spiders, flies, bats, frogs, rats, snakes, and so many more…..

all of them part of the balance…..

we need them all to be part of the world we live in.

They keep each other in check.  Making sure nothing gets off-kilter, out of balance.

I’m no scientist.  I don’t know a lot of the facts.  I get that mosquitoes can make people sick.  I get that the spray can take care of them, ridding the possibility of the disease.  But what else are we opening ourselves up to when we open that Pandora’s box? It scares me so much that I’m pretty sure I’m not ready to find out.

I have no answers.  So maybe I’ll just sit out on my porch and think on it awhile, as I listen to the bees buzzing or the frogs singing at night.  If you don’t have the answers either and just want to sit too, come on up.  I’ll be at the end of the street on the porch with the unmanicured yard and the bugs flying around.  You can swat at ’em if you want or use some of my lemongrass spray.  Because for now, that’s as hardcore as it’s going to get around here.  My soul needs some balance and I’m thinking that keeping it in the nature around me is a good place to start.

Wishing you a place to sit and listen to nature’s symphony.  Love and balance to all.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

If you are interested in learning more about bees, here’s just one link among the many I found when I looked them up.  http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/

I’m using a bug spray made by a local company that doesn’t have it on a website, but I have used this and it worked great too.

http://www.amazon.com/Skedattle-Natural-Anti-Bug-Spray-8-oz/dp/B007P5AJV8/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1405739483&sr=8-8&keywords=natural+bug+spray

A couple of cool tips for caring for your plants naturally–  http://www.9news.com/story/life/home-garden/proctors-tips/2014/07/10/proctor-keep-pests-away/12422437/

And finally this:  http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=125636  “Why We Need Insects, Including “Pesky” Ones”

Just a little food for thought.

Bold and Beautiful Things

20130920-231712.jpg

So this happened today.  Aragog has moved a little further from the house.  He is now starting from the corner of the house and tying out with ONE STRAND to the Loropetalum that sits across from the corner of the house in the flowerbed.  He is very skilled, and I continue to be amazed with his intricate designs.  I suppose as long as he stays there, and I keep “limboing lower now” under where he attached his web to the bush, we’ll all be okay.

Here’s the thing that I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around all day long.  The very thing that sustains Aragog is the thing that transforms and ultimately destroys the web he worked so diligently on. And then he has to start over, and he usually moves on to another spot. That’s powerful.  And hard.

Are we like that too?  Do we need the things that we work so hard on, those things we throw ourselves into, to be transformed or destroyed so we will actually move? Move to do something bigger and better and bold, like hang our whole well-being and existence on one well-placed strand of webbing?  When things we work hard on are destroyed, do we have what it takes to begin again?

20130920-231723.jpg

I have not lost my arachnophobic ways.  I found a small spider crawling across the floor this evening.  He was crawling IN MY HOUSE.  My house, my rules.  And that’s all I have to say about that.  But I am beginning to respect Aragog; he must be doing all right for himself because he seems to be getting bigger.  BIGGER.  But he’s also being bold.  He started out with a much smaller web just over my front door, and now his web and all its connecting lines are stretching out at least four times as large as the original.  That one strand thing is blowing my mind.  How strong it must be.  Well played my bold friend.  Well played.

And by tonight it was gone.  Between the breakfast, lunch, and supper he caught earlier and the  breeze blowing and the neighbor child who came up and used one finger to break the link with the bush (that took my breath away for a moment, I’m not kidding–I was NOT happy), it was all but gone by the time the sun settled down behind the copse of trees.

Seeing Aragog begin again each morning this week has given me hope.  I know, weird, considering how I feel about spiders.  But the fact that he can begin again each and every day and NOT GIVE UP, though he must be extremely tired, THAT is the stuff that movies with great soundtracks are made of.  You know, the ones that have you cheering on the character who, by all rights, should be curled up in the fetal position because he or she has been through so much.  But no.  There he/she goes again, picking him/herself up and starting again.  With one strong strand hooked to the Loropetalum, slowly but steadily working step by step in the dark of night.  When things are the darkest, he or she finds what it takes to begin anew.  And to do bold and beautiful things, no matter how fleeting they may be.

That right there.  That’s what I want my story to look like.

Be Nice to Who Say What Now? I Don’t Think So.

This morning as I was taking our puppy, Sophie Ru, out for her morning constitutional, it hit me.  In the face.  An intricate spider web strung across our front door.  I was spitting and spewing and using my spare hand to quickly wipe away the web bits and to assess whether the creator of said web had made a quick jump onto my head during the demise of his work.  I am sure anyone watching would have been entertained.  I, on the other hand, was not.

I do not like spiders.

At.  All.

It goes way back.  I remember being terrified of them when I was small.  Unlike Sister.  Family lore has it that when one was crawling across the floor when she was just barely walking, she smacked it with her hand and was preparing to chow down before Mama quickly stopped her.  The joke was she did it to protect me because I was quite likely terrified.

We had plants on our little front porch at the house on Boy Scout Road.  Mama would take clippings and we would put them in Styrofoam cups for the PTG’s Halloween Carnival sale.  They were quite popular.  They were called airplane plants.  Or spider plants.  Ahem. For a reason I cannot recall, at one point there were some paint chips that had fallen into the pots of these plants.  As service for some infraction, I was sent out there to clean the paint out of these plants.

‘Cause it’s a good idea to send an arachnophobe to clean out plants that are called “spider plants.”  I was absolutely certain that the reason they were called that was because, in fact, spiders lived in every single one of them.  I was miserable.  But I did obey.  Finally.

Can you see that HUGE spider up there?  If not, rest assured he is MUCH MUCH larger than he appears.  Must be a problem with the camera on my phone.  Believe me, much, much bigger.

Can you see that HUGE spider up there? If not, rest assured he is MUCH MUCH larger than he appears. Must be a problem with the camera on my phone. And I could only get so close.  What if it was a jumping spider?  Believe me, much, much bigger.

So back to this morning.  Webbed in the face.  The spider started crawling, and I still had to go back through this door to get inside.  It was me or him.  He crawled up high onto the transom area.

Y’all.  Aragog?  That big huge spider from Harry Potter?  The one as big as an elephant? *whispers* He did not disappear in the forest.  He is not dead.  He is up there on that glass on my front porch.

It’s a lose/lose really.  I don’t want him up there, but I don’t want him to just disappear either.  I WANT to know where this thing is at all times.   He is up so high, I can’t get a shoe up there to whack him, and I’m figuring it would be my luck that the wasp spray I have won’t touch him. That it would only serve to make him madder. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I don’t know why I don’t like spiders.  For whatever reason they terrify me.  I’m constantly checking to see if I feel any possible bites when I see one out and about.  This whole disliking without a real explanation is almost enough to make me believe in previous lives.  If that’s the case, I know bad things, spiders, and me all hung out for quite a while way back before when.

Mama tried everything to try to help me get over what was an unhealthy, almost crippling fear of spiders.  She even got the book “Be Nice to Spiders.”  She read it to us.  A lot.  In it a little boy named Billy leaves his pet spider Helen at the zoo because they are moving to a no-pets apartment.  It’s all about how Helen helps the other animals at the zoo.  Mama wanted me to see all the good that spiders can do.  I appreciate Mama’s efforts, but I still don’t think I will find myself ever being nice to a spider.  If I ever run into Charlotte, she’d better spell quick, because my MO with spiders is kill first, assess the toxicity later.  If I can reach them, that is.

Note to self: Don’t use that door in the morning.