Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What have we done?

Yesterday I stepped outside with my little terrier Nick, and nearly squashed a cockroach the size of a Volkswagon.  Good lord, it was big!
from http://www.ppdl.purdue.edu/PPDL/weeklypics/3-2-09.htmlbecause I was not going to photograph such a creature.
We continued our walk, keeping an eye out for any snakes.
As Nick and I walked up the hill toward the pool, and around the top of the development, I admired the gardens but was careful to not touch.  Every plant is potentially painful.


Whew, made it home safely and did some inside chores as the temperatures were rising and the sun very bright.  I realized that I needed to set up grain for big Nick and so after lunch, drove out to the stables to organize grain, supplements and psyllium (to ward off sand colic) into easy to feed packets for the barn workers.  When I got to the stables, it was deserted which wasn't unusual as it was 106F and the middle of the day.   The horses were all snoozing in the their stalls or under their ramadas.  Big Nick was finishing his morning chow and gave me a quiet greeting.  I did my chores, gave Nick a treat, and stopped off at the manager's house to tell Angie about the grain.  As I dipped my head under the arbor I glanced to the left and saw a hand drawn sign which said:

DANGER  BEE SWARM

I carefully backed away, and listened for any buzzing.  None...heavy sigh from me.  

I drove back to my home, which represented relative safety at that point.  

Mr. Biblioblog and I were sharing about our days, and he said "and we haven't seen everything yet".   I am not usually squeamish, but I do believe I have reached my limit.  I have yet to see centipedes, or scorpions, or tarantulas, or termites, ants, killer bees, coral snakes, rattlesnakes (well, one dead one in the road).  

The other evening Nick and I were walking through the neighborhood and he alerted me.  Tail up, absolutely still, staring in one direction as if he were a pointer.  I looked behind me and there was a coyote passing by...then another, and yet another.  Down the street they went, giving us a nod, and slipping into the wash. I'm comfortable with coyotes but do know they will take a pet if possible.  Nick knows it too!

I have been sewing and will share in my next post.  I'm on muslin #3 for McCalls 6928, a very simple top which for some reason needs lots of adjustments on me.
I am using View B and have 3 tops for riding so far (the muslins) and will be ready to use some special fabric on the next try.  It is a loose woven tee with a low hem in back.  I love the comfort it offers in the summer heat, and the ease of construction.  It is possible to make one of these tees in a few hours if you are quick with binding or baby hems.  I'll take some photos soon and write up a review of the pattern.  

In the meantime, I am keeping my eyes open for any possible danger lurking.  


27 comments:

  1. LOL! I'm sympathetic. Texas is the same way. We also have had our adventures with scorpions, tarantulas, copperheads, coyotes, etc. Our grass itself is hostile, covered with very painful stickers (that make it into the house, sometimes into your towel, undies, sheets, etc). No going barefoot in the grass here. I grew up in the green green hills of east Tennessee, so it is quite a contrast. You do eventually get used to it and adapt (i.e. just pull the sticker out of your foot or chop the head of the copperhead off and go on;)

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    1. Goatshead stickers in your undies?!! Poor Angela.

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  2. Oh gosh, yes Texas everything there is spiny and then there are the fire ants....
    We have an occasional scorpion. They wig me out but are easily squished and removed.
    Now the cockroaches ( in Florida they call them Palmetto bugs I think), you can keep them and the centipedes.
    Good luck to Little Nick today Mary. Keeping him close in my thought.

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    1. Thanks Theresa...it helps to have your support. :-)

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  3. oh, gee. It might get cold here in Vermont in the winter, but the cold does keep the bugs down to a manageable scale. We have bees that swarm (I rode my bike right through a swarm of bees on day - yikes!) and rode my horse through an alfalfa field that was covered with honey bees, but they didn't bother us one bit. We have rattlers in a few places in the Green Mts but those are pretty rarely sighted. Most of the snakes around here are harmless. So....I love the southwest, but am kind of counting my blessings right now for living in VT. (PS - no selenium in the soil in VT so lots of folks feed a supplement to avoid colic.)
    I do keep my pets in at night as we have coyotes, fisher cats and other things that will make a snack of smaller animals.

    Enjoy your animals!
    Helen

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    1. Thanks Helen. Fisher cats would be cool to see. Are they the same as miner's cats?

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  4. Oh, my! I didn't know about the cockroaches, but did know about the rest. My niece lives in Gilbert, and she finally moved out of her last house because the scorpions were so bad and she has little ones.
    You will survive, it's just a different area with many new and exciting experiences to dine out on. :P}}
    I'll keep you in my thoughts with good energy for observations skills that are acute!

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    1. Thanks Lynda, I didn't know about the damn cockroaches either. Glad your niece and her children are safe from the scorpions.

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  5. Wow, it sounds just like life in the suburbs of Houston! Every creature big and small lived there.. You will get used to it!! Glad to hear that you are sewing again.

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    1. Jen, Hi! Yep, Texas has all this, and more! :-)

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  6. a good friend who grew up in Houston says that Brown and Root (the big construction company that financed LBJ's run for the presidency) paid transfers "hazard pay" ....

    I grew up in Miami and remember coral snakes well, along with Palmetto bugs, scorpions (not that common, but they were around), rattlers, gators ... OY!!

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    1. hazard pay!! haha. I thought living in bear and cougar country was unnerving.

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  7. Another Texan here. I only kill the venomous snakes--we watch out for copperheads (killed one early summer - got him with the lawn tractor) and water moccasins. Some of the others-bull snakes and king snakes kill the bad ones. Scorpions - yes. Bull nettles (thank sting the skin) and lots of poison ivy - just to name a few. Some friends in west Texas years ago put the legs of the baby crib in coffee cans. Pour water in the can and as scorpions tried to climb the leg of the crib, they'd fall into the water and drown. Coyotes have been coming up looking for left over cat food and possibly the cat. They are getting braver and braver around here. We are on 30 acres.

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    1. Well, Texas sounds far more dangerous than my corner of Arizona now!

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  8. My sister had a bear in her backyard last week, and I had a snake in the house two years ago, so I completely understand. Stay safe!

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    1. I can handle a bear...it won't squish when you step on it.

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  9. Our coyotes don't bother us much because we have always had big dogs. However they dine out on the neighbors kitties. We've had a cougar sighted twice but other than that it's just garter snakes that make me jump 10 feet and our usual Skunks, raccoons, nutria's, & opossoms - because the cat people leave their cat food out 24/7.
    Looks like you are having fun revamping your wardrobe!

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    1. Hi kathy, yes, I am enjoying adding to my wardrobe. I had no idea that so much of my clothing was just too tight. :-)

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  10. This sounds worse that the wildlife we have in Australia in sheer scale and quantity! Hope you adjust in due course, and take it all in your very capable stride.

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  11. There is no way we in the Southwest US can beat out Australia for venomous and creepy stuff. :-) Your country is famous for the wildlife!

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  12. Poor Mary. I'm not laughing...'scuse me while I stop laughing...ok, that's better. What got me going was the roaches. Florida calls them Palmetto bugs. So big you can hear them walking. Fortunately they prefer to be outside, but if they get going between the walls of a house, yuck. I guess the first thing I learned when I moved to Florida in 1978, was how to keep those boogers away from my house :-) and me... Good boy, Nick!

    glad you have Nick and Mike, and before long, Woody.

    The pattern is so cute, hope you can stick with it!!

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  13. Laugh all you like Coco, as I need to know that others have dealt with these disgusting creatures. My husband said he saw a driver at the gas station swerve in order to squash one.

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  14. A bit surprised about the roaches as I rarely see any (and they don't compare to those that inhabit Houston). I can see from your blog header photo that you're probably over somewhere on the northwest side of town. I'm on the northeast when I'm home. We can hear coyotes often at night but are much more likely to be visited by javelina. They're smelly and they will take a dog, but frankly they're just out looking for food and trying to survive. Hope we get some rain soon but I don't see it in the forecast yet. I'm paloverdeblooms on PR (you might remember our short interaction a few months ago).

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    1. perhaps the javelina are eating the roaches? :-) Of course I remember you-stay in touch and we may be able to meet up!

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  15. So weird how those roaches guy like gas stations off dark roads! At night you have to open the car door and look around (especially up) before you get out of the car!

    My anti-roach approach: I lay down Sevin powder in a 3 foot perimeter around my house a couple times a year. All wet kitchen garbage, including any wrapping, napkins, paper towels, etc., with food remains on it, goes into plastic bags in the freezer pending garbage day. All bread, cookies, crackers, flour, sugar, cereal, rice, cocoa, pasta, etc., is stored in the refrigerator, not the pantry. No fruit on the countertops, this is also kept in the fridge. I don't use a toaster or toaster oven, because there are always crumbs in them! No dirty dishes left out ever, not in the sink or dishwasher (for which reason I generally handwash my dishes, I don't use enough to run the dishwasher). I have frequency-emitting devices plugged in 2 outlets in my kitchen and one in my bedroom near my bathroom, which provides a perimeter of signals through my first floor walls. I regularly spray the door, windowsills, and garage door all the way around with Max Home Defense or Raid Max. Bonus: all of this deters ants as well. Also for ants, they dislike cinnamon! I put cinnamon powder inside my windowsills and cinnamon sticks in a small plastic dish anywhere I see a possible track starting (in addition to destroying any I see!!) Hope all this helps!! At minimum will keep you busy and out of trouble.

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    1. wow! Of course, you are in a tropical location and so must have a larger population of pests. Love the idea of the frequency emitting devices, and the cinnamon. I haven't seen ants indoors but we do have lots of teeny ants outside throughout the area.

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  16. Oh, Mary, how your post reminds me of 30 years ago when I moved to my new home in El Dorado, California. Little did I know I'd moved to "rattlesnake ridge". So we've had a few of those over the years. Three different pets were bitten, but none died from it. We had two tarantulas, but they are like teddy bear spiders and do no harm. The centipedes and scorpions we used to get seem to have given up as have the coyotes. Occasionally someone in the area spots a mountain lion so I keep up the vigilance.

    Just last evening while watering, I heard the distinctive sound of a rattler. A very young one. He wasn't coiled just rattling to keep my two cats at bay. He was running for cover. I almost felt bad killing him, but I was taking no chances. He was the first I'd seen in 5 years.

    I don't mean to go and on, but I wanted you to know that in spite of these critters, I have loved living here and wouldn't change it for a pest-free environment.

    My daughter lives just south of you in Sierra Vista. She, too, awaits the monsoon.

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