Tag Archives: critters

I am not a Scorpio

I’m a Pisces, astrologically speaking, if you’re into that sort of thing. But I had a visit from a member of that group. An actual member.

Scorpion, now deceased

The most common one we see at the ranch is the Hentz striped scorpion – that’s the critter above. It’s the most common of the three types found in Florida, as it happens, and none of the three are lethal. Their stings can be painful on the scale with a wasp or hornet sting, though. How do I know this?

Because that critter there got me, twice, the other night when I went to bed. Somehow, it got into the house. Then, somehow, it made it to my room. After that, somehow, it managed to crawl up into my bedsheets. When I laid down, it went under the sleeve of my shirt, near my armpit, and, feeling threatened at that point by the motions of my arm and the tightness of that space, proceeded to sting me. Twice. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on at first – I thought perhaps I’d carried a bee with me all day long and she’d finally had enough, but when I hit the flashlight app on my phone and looked, there it was. I flung it on the floor, and let me tell you this: those things can move fast.

It was just shy of three inches long. Was is the operative word, as that scorpion, like the parrot, is no more. But it did give me the creeps and now when I finally get to bed, at whatever oddball time that is, I have to scout around to make sure no other visitors from that particular clan are looking to abuse my hospitality by invading my house.

 

My hero

The cucumbers, running rampant in he front garden north, got some trellis work today, and the green beans, caught in the tentacles of those cukes, were freed to go about their business.

When I completed multiple levels of trellising on both sides of the cuke runs, I found my hero standing over the dead body of one of his enemies, which he had been stalking for a few days now.

Fearless mole hunter

The common eastern mole, making messes of yards everywhere for eons.

Dead mole

I did not cut it in half with the scissors, no. I just didn’t have any gloves with me during that particular excursion to the garden, and simply used the tool I had to pick him up and toss him over the fence into the ditch area by the road to allow nature’s cleanup crew (vultures, ants, etc.) take care of it.

A day like today

I do not, as a general rule, sleep well or much. My family knows this because they have to put up with my oddball hours. Friends and clients know this because it is not rare for them to receive an email from me at some horrible, zombie-like hour where I, fresh from about three hours of sleep, have logged on to see what is happening in my little corner of the world.

Most of the time, this does not bother me overly much. After all, I have a great deal many more hours at my disposal than most people, meaning I can come up with grandiose plans about various things, and also cement the reputation I have garnered of being a robot rather than a human being. Since the radiation from the cancer treatments still has not brought me any real superpowers, I suppose it’s as close as I will ever get, although I won’t be doing this anytime soon.

Some days, though, the lack of sleep brings out the cranky, especially if I am also not feeling well. Like today. This makes me want to kick someone’s ass right off the planet for tossing a nonsensical legal threat our way about information in a domain registration that she provided, even though we have pointed out what she is saying means nothing and she readily admits she doesn’t understand the “jargon” – and by “jargon”, I mean English. Apparently, she is simply terrified that one of her “fans” (she is an actress, apparently) will find out her address from a years-old cached pieced of information on google, something that we do not control, last time I checked, and do some stalker-like thing, or kill her, or both. Or something. This is the time when I want to state it flat out for people: you are just not that important. You are not fodder for the next American Justice where some crazed, obsessed person hunts you down and kills you. You may tell yourself, actress aspiring to be famous, that someone would care that much, but let’s face it here: you provided your own biographical information to IMDB which is quite handily on your own web site, and it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist or some weirdo even slightly off their meds to find you. I know: I tracked down someone, including their name, date of birth, current residence, current hobbies, other web sites they visit, and the fact that they coached little league from a single piece of information (an IP address attached to a comment they left on a blog we host). With all the information you have provided on your own, deranged psychos could track you down if they wanted. They haven’t. This should tell you something about your place in the greater universe.

A day where you think it would be nice to be able to eat and drink the way you used to. That an icy cold beer and a pile of wings would be great after sweating off a couple of pounds working on the ranch, except that you can no longer drink alcohol due to the radiation burning off the lining of your mouth and you really can’t eat wings any more because the chewing issues make it virtually impossible. That it would be great to settle in with a margarita and a blackened chicken burrito with extra sweet and hot chile sauce, but the spicy foods are offlimit now for the same reason alcohol is, and you know even as you sow the seeds in the garden that you’re unlikely to ever be able to eat habaneros or even jalapenos again any time soon, if ever.

On the other hand, on a day like today, where I’m having some trouble catching my breath and generally feeling like crap – oh, not to mention having a slight bout of anxiety over the fact that the doctor wants me to have a chest CT because of something they saw on the chest x-ray they wanted before I started hyperbaric dives after having yet another tooth pulled – it’s nice to Get Shit Done. Like sow the cukes from seed that I’ve wanted to do for several days now, for a total of about 140 seeds planted, with a little overflow from my nephew helper, who put half a dozen seeds in several holes while I tried to convince him that really, one was all that was required. I also directly sowed some more tomatoes and peppers, because let’s face it: there are rarely enough, and we intend to do a lot of preserving this year. If we have the space, I want to fill it with something. That includes the newest 8 x 4 frame I polished off today in the herb garden, with a little assist by my sister, who hauled a load of dirt and poop for me amongst the five others that I brought over and mixed in. Tomorrow, while we wrangle a scheduled CT from the hospital people and I stay out of the hyperbaric chamber until we determine what the hell is going on – and if I have walking pneumonia, I will, as I have told several people, be pissed – I will begin work on the final 8 x 4 frame for the herb garden. Tonight, I may just go ahead and sow some things in flats that really want the much hotter weather we will no doubt be heading into very soon, and set them up on the heat mats in the garage, turning on the lights for them in the morning.

It’s a day where you also get nice, chatty mails from certain clients, about their newest projects, and about being a test case who found a bad link on our site. Or from someone who understands the information (some of it erroneous) at some random, invisible data mining company is not the end of the world as we know it, which then leads in a roundabout sort of way to a discussion about critters and gardening/sustainability. Or from someone who congratulates us on ten years of putting up with all of this. Or where a pooped out puppy sleeps on the back of the couch while you work from home on a laptop, ass planted on the couch yourself, his tail slapping against the cushion now and then, his nose crinkling as he sniffs out a rabbit or turtle or whatever populates puppy dreams, every now and again his paws wiggling manically, chasing down a bird he will never catch, growling and then squeaking out what would be a bark were he awake. Or where you watch as your nephew, having discarded his swimming diaper at some point, stands on the patio in the shade, fresh from the pool, with only his water wings on, downing saltines with a slab of cheese between them, crumbs falling from his mouth and sticking to his wet chest. Or where you decide, apropos of nothing, that Saturday would be a great  time for a spaghetti dinner night, and that homemade pork/beef/veal meatballs in homemade sauce, with homemade Italian bread as a vehicle for carrying butter and garlic, would be a rather fine thing indeed, even as you muse about the possibility of making homemade pasta, just to top it all off.

Or where, in general, despite never having as much time as you think even though you don’t sleep, berating yourself for not writing nearly as much as you would want to (or anything at all, for that matter), and having a list of todo items that is constantly expanding, you think this is a pretty damned good life, overall, and that you wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything.