Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Couple of Half-Baked Thoughts & A Spider Story

A month is probably too long to go without posting.

If I make pizza every Monday night, she'll grow up loving Family Home Evening.

Am I right?

Those peppers and tomatoes on the pizza are from our garden.

Here's a shot of today's garden harvest.

Fortunately, whatever is eating at the rest of the tomatoes does not seem to like Romas. But we've been able to harvest very few of our Early Girls, Belgian Giants, and the-other-kind-I-can't-think-of-right-now due to the worms and holes. 

Asian lady beetles--or the aphids they are feeding on--ruined about half our green bean crop as well.

We had a great crop of broccoli. In fact, we're about to put in a second planting. Our eggplants and green peppers did well, too. Rhett planted pickling cucumbers but we didn't get enough to make pickling them worth the effort. He also planted the eatin' kind, but we only got 2 or 3 out of that plant.

I wanted to can the green beans and tomatoes, but now that the new school year started, there is no time for that. If we hadn't switched to semesters this year, I'd still be on summer break and could do it. We must keep that in  mind for when we get the plants in next year.

Reader beware of the next few pictures and if you're spider phobic, just leave now.

BonnieBlue took this picture of me tonight when I was cleaning some strawberries for her (definitely her favorite fruit). This will be my "good side" from now on.


Almost exactly one month ago I was bitten by a spider, while I was sleeping. It happened on a Friday night. I didn't even think it was a spider. I had been picking  tomatoes that evening, so I assumed the bites were mosquito bites. Unusual ones, certainly. By Sunday, one on my nose was swelling to the point of pain and the lymph nodes in two places (forehead and in front of ears) were noticeably swollen. I went to the doctor the next day (Monday) because of those swollen nodes. I took this picture Monday night.

The swollen nodes were of concern because once you have lymph nodes taken out (as I did during both my breast surgeries), you don't mess around when you notice swelling. The doc took one look and said "Those are spider bites." She put me on antibiotics, steroids, and a topical cortisone.

I really wish I would have taken a mid-way point picture, because shortly after the doc visit, the tissue became necrotic (dying!), and I had big black wounds on my face up until 3-4 days ago. The forehead bites became especially ugly.

I've been wearing band-aids because it was so disgusting to look at. I had to wear 2 on the first day of classes!

Two funny things: 1) Our academic unit formed a new department with other units and at the first faculty meeting, it was announced that a photographer had been hired to take our head shots for the new department website. Um, no, not me, thanks. 2) Our PR person called me to say they wanted to do a feature on me for one of the annual publicity brochures they send out to the local community and other campuses and could I do a professional photo shoot the next week? Um, no. I explained to her the situation and she totally understood. She'll call me next year.

The scabs finally fell off a few days ago. Mind you, I never, not once, scratched at these puppies. The scabbing occurred due to the necrosis.

Anyway, here's a shot I took tonight. I actually have divots in my forehead and nose bridge from the bites!
 So how did it happen?

The best that I can figure is that when I was picking tomatoes, I had to stick my head into the plants (we don't prune) and a spider got tangled in my hair. That night, I slept on the couch (this fact is important in a minute), which I often do when I have insomnia. I think the spider was so pissed when it finally got out of my hair that it crawled down my face and bit me a few times, and in my sleep I brushed at it, sweeping it up, and then, pissed again, it bit me there, on my forehead.

Tuesday after the doctor visit, my husband suggested we get rid of the couch, which he has been begging me to do for months, if not years. It's a hand-me down from friends, a great leather couch, and I think it is the most comfy couch EVER, especially to sleep on, but my defenses were down, and truth be told, I have been having visions of painting the living room and getting a new couch. So I caved in.

Together we moved it across the room to take it outside, and a freakishly large spider scurried out from underneath.

And it was not your ordinary-sized house spider (if there is such a thing). It was black/brown and at least an inch or so across. Ugh. Ick. Shudder. It had to be the culprit. Especially because it looked just like the spider that crawled out of the basket of tomatoes that I had picked that Friday night. Only bigger. I killed that basket dweller. I could not get to the couch dweller in time before it disappeared. I couldn't get that couch out of the house fast enough. I had visions of Charlotte's children (re: end of Charlotte's web and the thousands of spiders coming out of that nest/web/cocoon/thingy). Ick. Shudder. Bleh.

So let me bring this story full circle. This morning, BB was being difficult, so I sent her to her room for a time-out. Now, I JUST cleaned that room from top to bottom...LITERALLY...because we're going to have it skim-coated and painted. In addition, time-out is really effective for her because she HATES to be alone. So, when she came tearing out of her room hysterically crying that there was a spider in her room, I didn't believe her.

Shame on me.

It came out into the hallway. The culprit! I shot my foot out but geez! That thing was fast and it scurried into the dining room onto the rug, and I lost it! Ugh. Ick. Shudder.

And we were late for school.

I had to let it be.

Tonight, I came in from harvesting the garden to answer the phone, and there it was, scurrying from the rug to the baseboard on the far side of the room. I had my hiking-stomping boots on now!


Normally, I let spiders in the house be because I know they're beneficial (note: the basket-dweller mentioned above was not a house-dweller; I knew it came from outside). Not this one. This one disfigured me.

How badly?

The absolute sweetest man I know is the doc in charge of the ER at our university, and his oldest son is in med school (his family and ours attend the same church). He told Rhett yesterday that I should go see his son in a few weeks, when he's doing his cosmetic surgery rotation.



  1. My goodness! That's quite a bite! I'm glad you got the satisfaction of squishing that sucker flat!

  2. Oh, and I could totally eat pizza every night!

  3. my mom made homemade pizza every friday night from the time my brother and I started school until we both moved out- we never missed dinner at home on friday nights, ever.

    that spider did a number on you- glad you got some revenge!


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