Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1st Year Homestead Reflection of the Humors/Horrors


When I started to write this first year experience of the horror stories I faced (though humorous when you think about it after the fact) on our homestead, I was without any photos. This morning I awoke and "he" was sitting there. Talk about a wake up call, I could have easily skipped coffee after this appearance. How I truly value the invention of the fly swatter! I have since learned to place one in every room (even the shower, more on that later). They are the homemaker's best friend on the farm!  It's many uses include, but are not limited to, crickets, spiders of unusual size, mosquitoes, suction cup froglets (more on those below) and as I learned today, scorpions.

Our first meeting with the creatures of the unchartered world was in the first week of our arrival. We were all jet-legged and exhausted as we went to bed. At three o'clock in the morning, I was finally able to sleep when I was woken up by my notoriously dramatic daughter. She informed me that there was a huge spider in the bathroom. I being quite irritated at losing sleep to someone who claimed themselves a "frontier woman", began to give her the spiel on "life on the farm".  We are to expect spiders as we had those in the city as well! But, I did my motherly duty by investigating the crime scene. When I saw the enormous, creepy, crawly, hairy and long-legged TARANTULA, I wanted to faint. However, if I did so, I couldn't imagine the horrors of us alone in that same little room, so instead I quickly dispatched of it with my poor slipper which I no longer wanted to wear. Before going back to bed, I did repent to dear daughter for my lack of compassion as we embraced each other with fright of the memory... We were city girls after all.

A few weeks later, I encountered the second species of terror. While showering after a long and hot day of scrubbing down our new home, I stood a vulnerable target as a small green frog the size of a silver dollar leaped out across the tile. The possibilities were endless! Scared to death that it would latch on and make contact, I screamed as I reached for the fly swatter I had strategically placed near by (for at this point in the game, I was armed and dangerous!). A game of suction-cup-frog ping pong ensued. Boy can they jump! They also required multiple swats! For the following month (until ALL the screens were put up in the house), I showered with the sliding door open for quick exit with zero concern that my bathroom floor was flooded each time. My husband mocked this when he found out but has recently confessed he employed the same policy upon hearing of my unpleasant tub-time recreation.

And lastly, for those of you who think dinosaurs are extinct, you have never seen a gila monster. If it isn't a smaller scaled iguanodon then I don't know what is.  My daughter screamed to me from the back yard to "come quick" for she had cornered one of these creatures. From what I understand, they won't be the first to attack unless they feel threatened. Apparently, me standing nearby with a hoe in my shaking hand wasn't of concern. My husband was gone, my daughter was sure that mother could rid the farm of the notorious egg thieves so I felt obligated to be the heroine (though I am very much the coward)! The only weapon that could put enough distance between me and that shrunken behemoth was the hoe in my hand. With only half the strength I possessed (have you ever had wobbly hand syndrome when scared?) I lunged forward towards my enemy (okay, two inches) and before I even made contact with the creature I was already screaming (The knowledge of it's thick and scaled body meeting the garden tool that I held gave me the willies). "Aaaaaah"!!! and the hoe bounced off the victim in slow motion. The gila monster, clearly unbothered by this tragic attack, sauntered back into the corner where it had left it's (our) eggs. I thought a moment…  How did Jael do her deed with a tent peg? But, back to reality when a silver streak like that of an angel pulled onto our property (husband's pick up). My knight in shining armor arrived to finish off what I really didn't even start… In his eyes, I had just baby-sat the creature until he arrived on the scene to dispose of the little beast.

With all those horrors I described, there are still many blessings woven in which I have been sharing this past twelve months. I am still here and wondering what next year will bring. I am hoping something more in the lines of beautiful rainbows, blooming roses and fresh produce. But the creature awaiting me this morning doesn't make me too hopeful…


8 comments:

  1. Every Minnesota winter seems harder for me (at 38 it must be my advancing age!) and I long to live in a place where blizzards are unheard of and the growing season is longer than 90 days. Then I remember that a few months of well below freezing temps kill off the creepy crawlies that thrive in paradise.

    I can handle the occaisional cricket, garter snake and daddy long legs, not sure if I could survive finding a tarantula or scorpian!!! I couldn't stop screaming while trying to get a just a little bat with a tennis racket a few years ago. You are one courageous lady!

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    1. A bat would really freak me out so I think the feeling is mutual! And yes, the winter is lovely for removing those creepies! But the thought of blizzards make me think you are the courageous lady!

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  2. hello Ma'am Jes, I am a follower of your blog for some time now, I am Janie from the Philippines and i am so inspired to really start my own blog which i have been thinking of starting for a long time but haven't had the time yet, but now that I am resigning from my work to be a homemaker, I am gathering all the "armour" i needed =) I am smiling as I was reading this, I am also a farm girl at heart and how I wish to live in the country but we are living in the city right now, I love plant ans gardening, I have my "little-urban garden" at home and indeed what a joy to get produce from your own. you inspired so much about homemaking and all your post are so great and is helping me right now. Since i discovered your site, I read as much as I could each day to gather some ideas and inspiration in my journey as Christian, wife of a Church worker and mother. Thank you very much and God Bless you more! =)

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    1. Hello Janie, thank you for sharing here today. I am so excited you will be able to be a full-time homemaker! It is so much fun as it requires creativity, beauty, loyalty and love. You will find it very rewarding because your hard work will be a direct blessing to your family! This is good that you have found ways to enjoy farm life in the city... Resourcefulness is a wonderful homemaking quality :) Thank you for taking the time to leave such nice words and enjoy your journey "home"...

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  3. Hi Ma’am Jes, I am Janie from the Philippines and I am a follower of your site for some time now and since I discovered it I read as much as I could each day. Your posts and ideas are of a great help to me and they inspire me so much. I am smiling as I am reading this post because I am scared of so many tiny creatures. (My Husband laughs at me all the time and makes fun of me at times) I am a farm girl at heart and how I wish I could live in the country but we are living in the city right now. I also love plants and gardening and I do have my own “little-urban-garden” at home. Indeed, it feels so great to have your own produce. I am planning to start my own blog which I have been thinking of doing for a long time but I haven’t had the time but now that I am resigning from work to be a homemaker, I know I had to start it soon. Your blog is such a great help and an inspiration to me as a Christian who wants to please the Lord, as a wife of a Church worker and a mother. Thank you for being a blessing through your blog and God Bless you more! =)

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    1. I think two comments of your accidentally got posted (I responded above to the first one). However, this one shares more information on you beginning a blog. If you decide to do it, let me know and I will follow you on your journey :) Have a wonderful week!

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  4. Oh, Jes, I can't imagine!..... (actually I can as I have a VERY good imagination-too good at times!) Even the idea of not knowing what might jump out next is unnerving! I agree w/ Miss Erin about the cold killing off some of the critters. Here in Kansas, we have some of both worlds.... I love winter for about a month, though it lasts much longer than that! Still, I wouldn't trade .... the long cold winter just makes spring and summer and fall all the sweeter and all 4 seasons are beautiful. :) You are a brave woman - I would probably be whimpering to my husband by now, "Honey, can we please move?" :) However, we would like to move to some acreage property someday and I realize I would have to face some unpleasant surprises.... that is NOT a favorite thought of mine! :) I hope your unpleasant surprises diminish..... :) Thank you for posting this.

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    1. Hi Joy,
      The good news is no more suction cup froglets in the house! The screens remedied that! Tarantulas still exist in the sun room but never make it into the house... Scorpions are seasonal and few (thank God no one has ever gotten stung)... But the gila monsters will make themselves known once in a while in our fields... Thankfully, the interior is pretty safe these days! :) Rest assured, you CAN do this! We just had to iron out the kinks a bit...

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