Horses, Tea and Black Widow Spiders

I had thought Eli was getting better on Tuesday but his fever has returned everyday this past week. We are now on day 5 and I hope it will be the last. There has been a 5 day virus passing around the kids in the neighborhood. We’ve done our part to prevent the spread of infection by keeping away from friends’ homes and the playground. He’s been pretty lethargic, so that hasn’t been too difficult, but today I couldn’t bear the prospect of being cooped up for a long day with a very cranky toddler. Especially since I had only slept about 2 hours last night. So into the stroller and off we went to see the horses at the stables about 1 mile from our home.

He really likes to look at horses as long as they don’t get too close. That works out well because there are signs requesting that visitors not touch the horses. After tooling around the stables a while we continued up the hill to the Starbucks.

Starbucks logo

Image via Wikipedia

This particular Starbucks tends to be frequented by the many retirees who live across the road in Leisure World. This works out very well for us… I always have  a good experience when I go there with a wiggly toddler in tow. We “sat” in a couple of overstuffed chairs near an older gentleman who soon stood up to leave. Concerned that we had disturbed his peace a bit too much I asked if we were bothering him. “Oh no,” he replied, “this has been part of the joy of the day.” It wasn’t long before Eli had had enough, becoming increasingly vocal as I packed up all of our stuff. A grandmother of 29 asked me if she could buy him a cupcake. I’m used to annoyed sideways glances during moments like these. I couldn’t accept the cupcake due to Eli’s dairy allergy (and the fact that he really didn’t need a sugar rush just then), but the offer warmed my heart.

By the time we got home Eli was ready to do some gardening. Oh, the joy of dirt!

A trowel, a dust pan, and an industrious toddler.

Redistributing the dirt between planters.

Hey, how did all this dirt get on my hands?!

Peering at neighbors from behind of the yucca tree.

Later while Eli napped I decided to unwind with a relaxing, hot cup of tea. I went looking through the long-neglected-for-the-summer tea cupboard to see what would strike my fancy. Upon moving a couple of boxes I saw her, and all thoughts of relaxing and unwinding skittered away.

Image via Wikipedia

We have a black widow spider in our kitchen cupboard! Making her home amongst my teas. For who knows how long.

I’m not particularly squeamish, but spiders make my skin crawl. Black widows make it run for the hills. Yep, here I am completely skinless as I type. It’s times like these I am very, very, very glad to be married. This is one for the stouter sex. Mice, rats, snakes… no problem. But black widows? Skinless, I tell ya.

I did try to get a photo, but by the time I’d returned with the camera she had hidden herself. I wasn’t about to go rooting around for an annoyed black widow. Time to close the cupboard door and back quietly away.

But here is what weighs heavily on the mind of Karen now. If there is one black widow enjoying my tea, how many sisters does she have? And where are THEY?

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1 Comment

  1. Inder said,

    November 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Eek! Black widows! I’m not too squeamish about bugs or spiders, but I’m not stupid, either, so yeah, black widows give me the heebie jeebies! I’m always trying to get Joe away from piles of wood or rocks. I’ve never seen one in the house (triple eek!) but they’re super common all over California. Luckily, they are shy too. But yeah, don’t reach into cupboards without looking!


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