Slacker! (or…I promise I’m still here…)

I’m a little in shock that the last time I posted was in October and now it is the day after Thanksgiving! I could give you a list of excuses…work this, busy that…and it’s all true…I swear. The last two weeks were especially eventful. We had 6 events in 9 days at work – 1 lower school open house, 1 middle school open house, 1 upper school open house, and a ninth grade applicant visit for 24 students, a middle school applicant visit for 23 sixth graders, and a kinder applicant visit for 36 4-year-olds and their parents…and let me mention that two of those events took place on weekend days. Woody had a funding talk he had to give down in Laguna and was gone for the night…and two of the other nights this week he was teaching. We both worked Wednesday…even though I technically had it off…because there is JUST that much to get done. Oh…and did I mention that we also had a bit of a spider problem in the house…?

Well, we did. Since we moved in…I have found or seen a variety of fauna and insects in and around our house and neighborhood…but this one was too much and action was necessary!

I knew we had a black widow house spider…she lived in our city trash can…and would retreat back into the handle any time we opened the bin. I also had come across one or two in the garage or the yard at times…that’s fine.

Outdoors…that is where spiders belong! Fast forward a couple months, and as Woody was crawling into bed one night…he looked over and said…I think there is a big spider next to the bed (there is a small nook in the corner in between the dresser and nightstand, and apparently if you are a spider it may as well have a Welcome Mat and a giant billboard advertising vacancy!  I took one look and realized it was a black widow.  YIKES!  We smushed her and hoped it was a fluke.  Fast forward another few weeks to last weekend…I was vacuuming the house and figured I’d get to all the nooks and crannies in and around Cleo’s kennel…and then I turned over the tray that lines the bottom of the kennel…and a black widow was making her way back to an egg sack that looked just like this one!

In fact, I was so creeped out…after sucking up the black widow into the vacuum and hoping that would kill her, I took a photo (proof for Woody)…see?

This was the final straw!  I just don’t think I should have to live *with* black widow spiders…in my house…next to my bed…around every corner…in constant fear of a toe slipping into a shoe with an unexpected guest who thinks they own the place.  I called a spider guy Monday morning…he came Tuesday afternoon.  I showed him around, told him the stories…and he seemed pretty sure that we really needed to treat for spiders.  He sprayed inside and out.  He sprayed the garage and the awnings, he used a dust in the crawlspace under the house…and then he forgot to mention that there is a flushing effect from the chemicals he sprayed – yep…meaning…all of a sudden every spider decided to come out and wander a bit…including…yet another…black widow.  And this one was right next to Cleo’s food dish.  So…to count up, that is at least 3 mature female black widows n 3 different rooms of the house…ughhh!  Although our spider carcass count has gone up drastically…they are all carcasses!

I’ve also managed to find a little time to finally play around with my sewing machine…and try and learn a few things.  I managed to make Cleo a fleece sweater.

She loves it.  She’ll bring it to us when we get home form work and snap at it until we put it on her.  I think I’ll have to make another one…as the first is already full of hair and smells quite doggish.

We also have been cooking up a storm…in bits and pieces.  I’m also way behind on posts for onions and chocolate.  There are two olive trees outside my office heavy with fruit…so I decided to pick a bunch and try and cure my own olives…look for a post on those soon.

The weather has been weird this fall.  We had the crazy heat wave – Woody thinks it literally *broke* the weather.  Things just haven’t been quite the same.  We had rain a lot earlier than expected.  Then there was the cold…and then another week in the 90’s and then this week we had frost…real frost…like crunchy white crystals on the ground frost!  Lows have been in the very high 30’s and low 40’s over night…and highs only getting to the low 60’s.  But we are still getting serious hummingbirds…we’ve had to refill the feeders weekly.

We’ve been enjoying our veggies from the CSA…a lot of squash, pomegranates, pears, persimmons, and winter leafy greens.

We’ve certainly done more than this…oh, and Woody just played a good 4 hours of Red Dead Redemption with Mark over the interwebs while skyping.  Tomorrow we’re planning a small scale thanksgiving dinner for the two of us – sometimes you just have to make sure you have those few dishes that really make it Thanksgiving.

Hope you’ve all been enjoying the weekend.  We are very thankful!