Posts Tagged ‘country life’

Hello, Blog!! Been a while!

Yeah, yeah…I know. I am a neglectful blogger, but life has been hectic and crazy. Want some updates?

Well, when I logged back in I found that I still have quite a few visitors (thanks y’all!!!), and some new peeps who’ve found me in search engines. I just had to click over and see some of the search terms that they’ve used to find me…

And found a GREAT addition to my Odd-and-Crazy Search Terms archives:

“Shake me like a monkey”

Yep. Someone typed THIS into their search engine and it brought them to me. I’m pretty sure this one scares me more than my Bandaid-Butt fans. At least I know which post brought those guys to me.

But when did I ever write a post about shaking monkeys??? Literally or figuratively!?


So what else has been going on?

I coached a tee-ball team. By accident (although I had a blast with a great little group of guys and girls)…

See, I checked “yes” on my daughter’s sign-up form, stating that I would be willing to help out and volunteer. I figured I’d be asked to bring some snacks to a game or two, and maybe sign up as team mom for a few games or practices.

Ooooh no…they called me the next day to let me know I’d been “given” a team. At least the rules for tee-ball are pretty lax. My softball playing years didn’t exactly prepare me for explaining the fundamentals to a group of 4-5 year olds.

And I never got to sing and dance in the outfield when I played.

Another high-light of the last few weeks…my husband launching us into a whole new realm of Redneckery.

There was a Rattlesnake Rodeo his peace officers’ association decided to hold. They needed snakes of course. In lieu of buying snakes, they handed a catcher out to the officers in the area and told them happy hunting. (we do live in West Texas, but still…)

So the Guru comes home one day with a lidded (thank God) 5 gallon bucket, a 4 foot long catcher stick, and a shit-eating grin.

“Honey, look what I caught! There are four of ‘em in here!!”

 This began the scramble to find something of an appropriate size and secure enough to hold multiple live rattlesnakes until they could be taken to the event.

After some digging, he comes up with a white plastic barrel (with no lid), a metal-grate lawn table, my concrete stepping stones, and a handful of bungee cords.

I was concerned.

It grew as he dumped the snakes into the barrel, placed the tabletop on the top of the barrel, and weighted it down with the stepping stones.

Then he bungeed the whole thing to a tree in the front yard… ”So the dogs won’t tip it over.”

Great. I took that moment to come to the computer and put out an APB (via Facebook, of course) to anyone who had a cage of some sort that might be a little more secure than the Guru’s Bucket-O-Snakes.

My cousin’s girlfriend (Dude, MARRY this one!!) saved my sanity by donating a rabbit cage to the cause. I reinforced it with metal fabric and forced the Guru to take it (and the snakes) to our kennels…which thankfully are about a quarter mile from the house.

In the meantime, he did attempt to make it safer for trespassers by using a magic marker and marking it with “DANGER: LIVE RATTLEBUGS!”

Although, if someone HAD come up to burglarize the house, we’re probably the only ones around who had guard-snakes in the yard…

Has anyone else reached any interesting levels of Redneckery? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Does anyone else believe in ghosts? I don’t want to start a huge debate, but I actually do, and I have one here.

A ghost cat, actually.

Or maybe I have proof that cats do have 9 lives.

We had two cats born a while back, one solid black with unusually green (grass green, not typical eye-color green) and one white with very light gray markings and blue eyes.

I named them The Ghost and The Darkness. Good movie, better book, and it fit in with my unique pet-naming habits.

They grew up into beautiful cats, both very sweet. Unfortunately, life in rural West Texas can be tough for domestic felines…the bigger ones (bobcats, mountain lions) seem to do just fine.

The Darkness had a difference of opinion with a badger one night, and didn’t win the argument. He was hurt badly.

I don’t want to freak anyone out, so I’ll be vague. The poor things injuries were not something that he could possibly survive, and were concentrated on his chest and right front leg.

I cried over him for a while, and then let the Guru take him away to end his suffering. I couldn’t let him hurt anymore.

Come on PETA, give me your best.

So three months have passed by, and I walked outside onto the back porch  few days ago to our cats hanging out as usual. The normal view includes the two loopy cowdogs, two white cats, a gray tabby, and one black cat with white hairs on his chest.

In case you’re curious, they are (in the same order): Schatzie, Scamper, Sassy, the Ghost, Flint, and Lite (yes, the black one).

This day everyone was in attendance…along with an extra black cat.

An extra black cat with no markings of any other color, grass-green eyes, and a noticeable limp on his right front leg…

Just for the skeptics:

  • No, he couldn’t have survived the injuries. I know injuries, and I have owned animals my entire life. It was not possible.
  • That aside, he could not have survived the “ending of the suffering.” Again, for those with delicate sensibilities, please just trust me. My husband checked, because he couldn’t stand the idea of him possibly surviving and hurting anymore.
  • If he was injured out there somewhere, he could not have survived three months on his own. A healthy cat has little chance out there with badgers, coyotes, wild hogs, and bigger cats.

He has a single scar on the inside of his leg.

So yeah…I have no good reasonable explanation.

Except that The Darkness is back.

If anyone needs a laugh, this guy is really really funny.

…and makes me want a gecco. Maybe a gecco would eat the scorpions that the Minion’s cat doesn’t get to first?

Which reminds me, later today when I have more that 2 minutes at a stretch, I will tell you all about our New Oldish Ghost Cat and what might have become of the Darkness.

Yes. I typed that right. And no, it isn’t supposed to make sense. 😉

You’ll see.

WOW…if any of you people that know me well happened to pop up on my doorstep right now and attempt entry into my house, you would be in for a BIG surprise…

You know I’m fairly organized, as I have OCD and I like to have room to walk around (toys aside, that is a battle Oscar cannot win). Therefore the fact that you can’t get into the front door because of the big pile of dresser drawers might come as a surprise…along with the drawerless (yeah, made that one up) naked dresser in front of the couch where the coffee table usually resides.

There is a coffee table in the center of the room with an upside down end table on top of it, accompanied by another random drawer. The North wall is lined with a baby swing, bouncy seat, and car seat that neither of my kids fit into anymore. Fifteen (yes, fifteen) wicker baskets are scattered about the floor, and the vacuum cleaner cord snakes through it all like a skinny anaconda.

At random intervals, the Princess prances through with a limp (she has stitches in her foot) wearing a neon green dress, a tiara, and purple flip-flops. The Prince tears through at equally random intervals, naked, pushing a doll stroller filled with a book, a sippy cup, and a terrified and resigned kitten.

There are no curtains on six windows of the house, and there is a pile of rugs in a corner.

The dryer is running, the dishwasher is running, and I’m pretty sure (thanks to the Prince) the bathtub is running. This very computer is playing a mix of new country and old rock, and the TV is (for once) silent. Oh yeah, the coffee pot is brewing, too.

There used to be a loveseat and a blue recliner in here, but they have given way to a giant pile of clothes bound for the local thrift store (with all the baby stuff), and an assortment of jackets, coats, and sweaters. The couch is still visible, if you can scale a blanket rack and jump. The back cushions are in the floor, though.

"The Mess"

What my normally pretty and inviting living room has been reduced to.


I’m pretty sure even the goldfish is peering through his glass picture window in awed terror.

Thanks Mom, for the theoretical protocol that pulling out and disassembling the entire home in the endeavor to “clean it right” is the “only” one that works! You’re right about one thing…if I ever find my living room floor again, the feeling of accomplishment will be overwhelmingly wonderful.

Or else I’ll have lost my mind by then and just be grateful for a solid surface in which to sit and rock.

Ok…my break is over, I am going to go dive back into the fray. If you don’t hear from me in a few days, send over a garbage truck and the people in the white coats with the giant butterfly nets…

A while back I listed the reasons writers are…um…difficult people to deal with in many cases. I feel that, as a photographer as well, I should make a list for them, too.

See? I am truly a pain in the ass for soooo many reasons! 😉

So, photographers are a pain in the ass because…

  • They see the world in little rectangles, as they would appear in a photograph.
  • They will often “frame” these things with their hands to size up an imaginary shot…quite distracting to be in the middle of a conversation when suddenly the person you’re talking to “frames” you, squinting with one closed eye. Do you continue talking, or strike a pose? Depends on the photographer…
  • Even in the most casual of situations where most people would happily snap a quick photo and move on, a photographer has to stop everything to fuss with someone’s hair or clothing, shift everyone over a half inch, and complain about the light (or lack thereof).
  • “You would look so great in sepia!”  Seriously? Is that a compliment, or are you telling me my color is all wrong and should just be removed from the equation??
  • You are NEVER allowed to touch the camera. There could be a rabid dog scaling the wall outside about to come in the window and the only escape you have is through a door that has “the camera” sitting nearby on an unstable table. You must navigate that door WITHOUT TOUCHING THE CAMERA…or the consequences would make you wish for the return of Cujo.
  • The camera is named, and referred to in casual conversation much the way a beloved sibling is mentioned. Pretending to be confused as you ask again “Who is Lucy?” causes hilarious drama.
  • For a simple photo of you and your lover, you get to watch the photographer talk in baby talk, squeal and laugh, fix your hair, crawl around on the ground, climb trees, fix your hair again, and suddenly exclaim “There it is!!!” as the camera goes off on a series of rapid-fire clicks.
  • EVERYTHING is a prop. “There, hold that grilled cheese just like that and SMILE!!”
  • “Say CHEESE!!”  Or fuzzy pickles, or happy!!
  • If there is a lightning storm within a twenty mile radius, you will find the photographer happily sitting out in the rain under a cardboard box, snapping six hundred photos of a section of sky.
  • If you manage to get a photographer to go on a trip of any kind without THE CAMERA, prepare yourself for whining that rivals a four year old with pneumonia…or a teenager deprived of their phone and music.
  • You might as well just resign yourself to the fact that a photographer in the family means hundreds or thousands of photos of yourself in the most awkward situations. There is no stopping them, and “I don’t photograph well,” is taken as a direct challenge.

We’re all doing great…

The matching goose-eggs and bruises on my children’s foreheads (Passing Along the KLUTZ Gene) are much better. They no longer look like they’re each sprouting a demon horn out the front of their head. In fact, for once, they don’t look battered except for a couple of skinned knees and the usual shin-bone bruises!!

I am no longer wearing a character band-aid on my ass (The SpongeBob Band-Aid on my Left Buttcheek).

So all is right on the Back 40 of Hell’s Half Acre…for the moment.

I should probably admit though, that it is 4:30am and the minions are both sleeping. I have gotten a lot done tonight, and I am ready to throw a garage sale tomorrow morning.

Yes…out here in the boonies. Willfullness and a stubborn nature will prevail! Along with a whole bunch of cardboard signs and brightly colored flyers. I wonder if I should let Cheyenne sell lemonade???  Or beer? Hehee!

Therefore, if you would like something completely random and cheap, come on over tomorrow. I have everything you need!

Minions and cats are for sale at the right price, and to a good home.

Loopy cowdogs and Greyote Hounds are FREE!!!

Anyway…yeah, that was it. G’Night!


I recently had the great pleasure of experiencing the lovely traffic found on the streets of Lubbock on a Saturday afternoon. All the gloriously happy and considerate people working in harmony to get everyone where they needed to go with the utmost efficiency and care…


I needed a drink before I made it halfway around the loop. By the time I had navigated the transition from the loop onto the Interstate and back again via my FAVORITE kind of exit (the twirly ones that recommend a top speed of 15 in traffic averaging 87), several smaller streets, one alley, a Sonic drive thru, and a mall parking lot complete with rent-a-cops in golf carts, I needed more than a drink.

Actually, by then I would have welcomed an illegal substance dealer of any kind knocking on my window in the questionable neighborhood I was lost in.

The apartments and dorms of Lubbock must have been eerily quiet that day, because I am sure that the entire population of the city was out on the roads at their un-medicated or overly altered best. I am quite sure they were all stalking my poor countrified chevy…

My ultimate destination for the day was a Jackyl concert in the Depot District. Elbow to elbow with the tattooed and pierced rockers of Lubbock, singing the Secret of the Bottle at the top of our lungs, thinking that THESE people are so much friendlier than the ones out on the roads.

In fact, it is usually the tattooed, the bikers and truckers, the punks with Mohawks, and anyone with unnaturally streaked hair and heavy eyeliner who are the first to be kind to a stranger in need. Before you judge, find out who is behind the decoration…they might surprise you.

But I digress….as I have a tendency to do…

So anyway, traffic…

I encountered all the different kinds of drivers there are in a city like that…in one afternoon. It was actually quite a good learning experience. If you are ever conned into repeating my mistake on a weekend afternoon in the summer when all the crazies are out to play, here are some of the fellow drivers you should really watch out for…

Sunday Cruisers:

These people are out to see the sights, smell the smells, and annoy as many fellow motorists as possible. They weave gently from side to side within (somewhat) the confines of their lane, and turn their blinker on roughly a half mile from where they plan to actually turn.

Speed limits are irrelevant to Sunday Cruisers, as they rarely travel over about 35 mph. More than likely the car you’re following at a painfully tedious pace is an aged Buick…baby blue or beige. Station wagons with fake wood panels are also usually driven by a Sunday Cruiser.

Garage sales, fruit stands, children selling lemonade, and flea markets are valid excuses for drivers in this category to suddenly brake in the middle of the road with gleeful oblivion. For these, the turn signal is often a distant memory…and you will be lucky if their creeping ride has properly working brake lights.


Pappy is very nearly a Sunday cruiser, only the Buicks and station wagons are not popular here. A Ford or Chevy truck with more rust than paint is the giveaway in this category.

Instead of rarely driving faster than 35 mph, these drivers have a steady pace of 55 mph. Whether the speed limit is 15 or 75, urban or rural, these old pickup trucks have one constant pace, and they will not deviate.

They are often found congregating at Dairy Queens, discussing in minute detail the rainfall that Texas has experienced over the past 40 or 50 years.

Soccer Moms:

These women are found cruising the streets in minivans and obnoxiously large SUV’s, usually sporting small yellow window signs proclaiming “Baby on Board” or “My kid is an Honor Student.” For some reason, fake bullet holes are popular, as are stickers on the back windows with a name followed by a football, basketball, or cheerleader symbol. In fact, you can usually look at a soccer mom’s car and immediately know the names and gender of the children, the sports they play, the GPA of the older ones, and where they are bound for college.

Soccer Moms are actually pretty good drivers most of the time. They are typically courteous, obey traffic laws, and try to maintain the safety bubble of their “precious cargo” drooling and screeching in the backseat. They are determined to be a role model for all the young teenage drivers out there.

However, when a Soccer Mom’s driving goes bad, it goes very, very bad. These women are hyped up on lattes and metabolism pills and vitamin B…they are jumpy and will freak out about any sudden movements (or honks). There is also the chance you’ll happen to catch one at a red light about the same time a toddler tosses a Sippy cup across the car, resulting in a distracting hissy fit as Mom gropes around behind her, yells at the child, and tries to navigate to the pool at the same time.

Another hazard that Soccer Moms present to the driving world is that they will slam on the brakes for ANYthing that might decide to cross the road, whether that be a dog, cat, child, or field mouse. They are sometimes found on the road crying hysterically because they didn’t miss the sparrow that swooped across her path at the wrong moment. The best thing you can do for these women in this situation is offer to pick the feathers out of her grill.

GPS Gadget Guys:

These guys are possibly the most erratic and annoying out there. Until someone perfects the GPS navigational systems of the modern age, these well-meaning technologically obsessed individuals will follow the tinny voices in their dashboards into lake bottoms, ghost towns, and dead ends with relentless determination.

If a GPS unit suddenly decides the driver should “turn left,” he will…immediately and with no warning, sometimes from the far right lane. He is often so excited about the sudden change of direction that a turn signal is the last thing on his mind.

GPS Gadget Guys are often found sitting at a busy intersection, oblivious to the four cycles of green lights that have passed and the impatient honking of those around him, while he pushes buttons on his GPS or waits for the machine to “recalculate.”

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a specific “type” of car these guys are found driving…anything built after 2003 seems to be fair game.

Corporate Asses Who OWN the Roads:

Ugh…my least favorite. These are the guys who think they are God’s gift to women and the rest of the world. They hate animals, “lesser” people, and imperfections in people. They have no patience for the small flaws that make us all human, and are rude to the doormen, maids, and grocery store clerks who cross into their privileged lives.

These guys drive BMW’s, Mercedes, and the occasional Lexus…some of the more insufferable will be spotted in a Hummer or a lifted 4×4 that’s never seen mud, because they think somehow it makes us all think they have a bigger…ahem, never mind.

The “Asses” are aggressive drivers that will cut you off, then flip you off for daring to be in their way. They are usually found with a cell phone surgically attached to their ear, and everything in their car is shiny, loud, or expensive.

Watch for vanity license plates that read: “GR8!!”  “HOT STUF”  “STUD MFN”  “LADYS MN”  or  “BG DADY”

Student Drivers:

By student drivers, I am not just referring to the actual students in the school owned sedans with “Student Driver” emblazoned in red across the entire vehicle. These are actually very safe…they will be creeping along with their knowledgeable teacher in the passenger seat, obeying EVERY law to the letter, trying desperately to drive perfectly. Not really dangerous.

No, the student drivers to worry about are the ones who just passed their tests and are carrying their shiny new driver’s license in their wallets like a medal of honor. These are the kids with daddy’s insurance, momma’s car, and the undeniable taste of freedom.

These young drivers don’t mean to be a menace, but they freeze up at the slightest thing, park crooked in parking lots, and cannot parallel park to save their lives. They will turn on the blinker a mile before turning, and are often found parked on the side of the road, wide-eyed or sobbing with fear.

Daddy’s Little Princesses:

Ohhhhh, but these girls are highly entertaining. They go into hysterics that provide endless amusement when you catch them outside their 16th birthday convertibles and SUV’s. Their cars are usually pink or red, and covered in cutesy bumper stickers that say “Daddy’s Girl” or “Princess.” Vanity license plates in the same taste are common.

One of the problems these girls have when driving is that they often have so much crap hanging from the rearview mirror that they have blocked out a third of their view of what’s in front of them. They also tend to attempt the fine art of simultaneously driving, texting, and applying mascara.

These girls don’t react well to being honked at, they will startle and immediately drive off the shoulder, slam on the brakes, and sob hysterically.


Well, I am quite sure I have left out plenty of driver’s from this list, but these are the most dangerous. They are the ones who have made me swear off going back to Lubbock anytime soon on a weekend or during rush hour. I will stick to my small town full of nothing but Sunday Cruisers. They’re just as annoying here, but they are predictable, as they travel the same routes at the same time and same speed every day.

Yeah…I am fairly sure I flashed the guy flying the spray plane over my house today. There was no crash, and he didn’t do a repeated fly-by routine, so maybe (maybe) he wasn’t looking down.

Or maybe he just wasn’t shocked to see some chick having technical difficulties with her tank top in her front yard at the house on the Back 40.

Maybe he heard the rumors that she’s crazy, and didn’t think it was abnormal...

See, living in the middle of nowhere in the new-age dust bowl has it’s advantages. I have the best tan I have had in years, thanks to the comfy teal lounge chair in the front yard and the (usually) complete and utter privacy. There are occasionally spray planes or air force contraptions that fly overhead, but these are usually too high to see much of what I am up to…and waaaayyyy too far away to know what I am drinking on some of these brutally hot days when I know I am not going anywhere anytime soon 😉

No, for those of you that took a swan dive right off into mental gutter-land, I do not lay out tanning in my birthday best! I usually go for a pair of short shorts and a thin strapped tank top. You dirty-minded people…if ANYONE comes cruising by out here claiming to have been on a scenic drive or lost you have had it. I will shoot!

Anyway…today it occurred to me that all my tank tops have different straps, and that some are placed differently than others. This results in the possibility of a white, untanned stripe of skin running alongside the strap of some of the shirts. Not cool. 

Rather than running around topless in the front yard (I do occasionally have people that show up out here unannounced, and wasn’t crazy about the idea of sunburned boobs), I decided I could just shimmy out of the straps, leaving the top more or less in place. Easy breezy, right?

Well…I didn’t take into account just how breezy it would be as a gust of wind hit just about the time I shimmied that second strap down my arm and let it go. Of course the wind couldn’t actually steal the shirt, but it did manage to add to my shimmy enough to take that whole loose-fitting shirt down into belt/sash mode.

This all occurred about the time a low-flying spray plane decided to take the shortcut from wherever he had been to wherever he was going that took him right over me.

Thanks to the fact that I had stood up from my lounge chair to get the tank situated, and the fact that I had to perform some very deliberate movements to get my arms out of the straps, I am pretty sure that from a bird’s-eye view I looked like a crazily desperate woman struggling to get her top down for the sole purpose of flashing the pilot of the little plane.

Of course I immediately grabbed the shirt and pulled it up.

Of course a plane moves fast enough that by then he was past…probably laughing at the crazy topless woman living out in the sticks.

Oh well…hope he enjoyed the show.

Apparently I did piss off the Scorpion King…

The other morning I woke up to my daughter’s unmistakable “oh dear…MOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!”

That is the alarm bell that is real…not the one that you hear when her brother steals a crayon, turns off the TV, or drinks the last of her orange soda. This cry of alarm is the one you hear when there is a wasp attacking her head, she is actually bleeding, or the dog has knocked her down…OR when there is a scorpion lying in wait just inside the door to the microwave in her play-kitchen.

The last one is what happened this time, the evil little bastard was just sitting in there alone on the beige plastic. Evidently the tiny microwave-shaped compartment just looked and felt like a homey new place for a scorpion nest. Probably a better bet than the hand-sprayer on my water-hose, but if you read the post about that one I’m sure you jumped to the same conclusion I have.

I did piss off the Scorpion King and I am being visited in ten-fold scorpion karma.

If it were the one incident I could shrug it off and say maybe coincidence (although I don’t truly believe in coincidence), but that hasn’t been the only tiny minion of hell that’s been hanging around.

A few days ago I interrupted one on his disturbingly militant march across the carpet in my bedroom, where the carpet was installed with them in mind…the tan on taupe mottled colors match the pattern and coloring of the back of the scorpions perfectly. Seriously, I could not use paint sample cards from a hardware store and come up with a better match! This one was marching purposefully towards the bed and I saw the slight movement of what looked like a carpet design.

This one got sprayed with Sevin…a few drops, because I realized I was out of that and he got shot with BugStop. The combination of the two made him drunk, he began to weave and bob as though attempting to avoid those carpet spots that looked so like him. Hell maybe he was drunk and thought he was weaving through a crowd of his evil little friends. I’m sure that the fact that we laughed at his drunken journey means that the scorpion karma is going to be even worse. He got put out of his poisoned misery with a watery burial in the toilet.

The one this morning is the one that has me convinced of my pre-determined haunting, though. If nothing else, it served as a great lesson to me and my daughter both, in the shaking and checking of any article of clothing before putting it onto your body…she was an up-close and personal witness to this attack.

I grabbed a pair of jeans from the bathroom floor where I had tossed them before I bathed, and proceeded to pull them on while I chattered with Cheyenne about something mundane (I think we were trying to recall all the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song). She reached and pointed about the time I noticed the little wad of hair or string on the jeans I was pulling on. She giggled and said she saw it and was going to get it for me…about the time it began shimmying up the leg of the jeans. I squealed like a girl and began shimmying the pants down my legs, and the race was on!

I won the race, thank goodness, there were no places easily accessible from his position that I would have cared to be stung at that moment. The scorpion and the jeans were quickly abandoned in a heap on the floor while I tiptoed into the hall for the pliers. For some reason critters scaring the daylights out of me causes an instant ninja-mode and I can’t move without tiptoeing.

Cheyenne had hit a ninja-mode of her own and made it onto the bathroom counter in a single bound. I was proud, she did it without knocking over a single thing and without the bruises on the butt that I had after my last leap of faith (from the snake…previous post). She didn’t even lose her flip-flops!!

Anyway, this scorpion followed his buddies down the toilet after I found him and grabbed his tail with the pliers. I briefly considered the Bugstop, but it was a clean (other than the scorpion apparently) pair of jeans and I hate laundry sooo much!

Y’know…I really hope scorpions can’t swim…

No one answer that, I think I want to remain blissfully and willfully ignorant on that one as I continue to flush the evil bastards.

I haven’t always lived on a ranch, or even in the country…but I am learning. Slowly, painfully, sometimes disastrously, but I am learning.

Yesterday I killed my very first rattlesnake, all by myself!

There was some squealing and jumping around involved, but the end result was the demise of a rattlebug that posed a threat to the critters I’ve collected over the last year. Cats and kittens, two loopy cowdogs (aren’t Heelers supposed to be smart?), a raccoon that steals the shiny things from the garage, and the “funky armadillo” are the critters that have names. Deer and birds are everywhere, but they’re not quite pets…yet anyway. Give me time, I have birdseed and deer corn, I will make friends.

Anyway, back to my rattlebug…

I was driving down my half-mile long driveway (you can’t see my house from anything paved), and saw my first snake of the year. I stopped the Chevy in the middle of the road and sat there frozen, staring into yellow eyes that seemed to stare right back at me. Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard the “old cowboy movie whistle” that always plays when the gunslinger faces his foe.

Thanks to my Country Guru, I had the necessary tools in my truck for just such an encounter. The bed of the truck holds a shovel, a bag of critter food, some wire, a bucket of sand, and a baby walker. Inside the truck are two knives, a roll of toilet paper, and my “cowboy gun.” I call it that because “.22 with snake-shot” just doesn’t have the same ring, and because the gun has a hammer that pulls back and a barrel that spins…just like in the movies. I’ve learned the hard way that there is a trick to spinning that barrel without spinning the gun out of your hands and across a hardwood floor…causing several grown men to shriek like little girls and take cover behind the couch. I’ve also learned that a quick-draw isn’t as easy as it is in the movies, especially if you have boobs in the way.

So there I was with the snake staring a challenge at me, and I’m trying to remember where I put the cowboy gun. It finally takes slowly opening my door and creeping around the back of the truck to the passenger side, where the gun is hiding under the backseat. Handy, right?

Gun in hand; I sneak around the front of the truck like I’m tiptoeing up on a sleeping giant. Right there in front of the bumper, where I’d left the evil creature, was…nothing but dirt. The sudden image in my mind had my snake just under the edge of the truck, sighting in on my bare calf, and that was enough to elicit a squeal and the freaky snake dance that took me high-stepping backwards at a high enough rate of speed that I lost my flip-flop. I swept it up with my non-gun hand and jumped up onto the side of the truck, teetered there for an infinite few seconds, and tumbled in rear-end first.

Thankfully I didn’t shoot myself or put any new holes in the pick-up. I did get an interesting bruise from the shovel though. I took a breath, got my bearings, and got mad! Somehow falling down or losing a shoe taps into that part of my brain that holds pride and ego, and sitting half-barefoot with a sore butt in the back of my truck was just humiliating enough to tick me off.

Gun in hand, I crawled back down from my silver tower and crept up past the bumper again, this time a safe distance from the dark abyss underneath. There was a clear trail in the dirt where the snake had slithered away to the side of the road and under a bush. Part of me hoped to find the evil thing hiding under the bush, and part of me hoped it had crawled a mile away never to be seen again.

Not sure whether I got my wish or not, since I was undecided what the wish really was (other than a fast move back to a place with stores and traffic), but I did find the snake under the bush. I shrieked again and did a milder version of that freaky snake dance, managing to startle the snake into rattling at me. Actually I don’t think my noises startled it as much as the branch that slapped it in the face when I let go of it. Apparently snakes don’t like being smacked in the nose with shrubbery any more than husbands do.

So the snake was rattling, I was shrieking like a little girl (or a grown man diving for cover from a loaded cowboy gun bouncing across the floor), and I’m sure my guardian angel was about to turn in her resignation. I couldn’t see the snake without the branch moved, and I wasn’t risking my toes again to get close enough to touch it…so I leaned, on tiptoe, as far as I could towards the bush. When I caught a glimpse of scales, thanks to the snake for continuing to rattle angrily, I pointed the gun, pulled back the hammer, and fired.

The silence that followed the pop was thick with tension, as I realized that I’d have to move the bush to find out whether I’d hit my target (I wasn’t sure snake-shot bullets would go through a bush with enough oomph to take out something underneath).

It was an eternity before I had one of those moments where you have to slap yourself in the forehead. That is when I went back to the truck, got the shovel, and used it to move the branches around. Apparently, snake shot will travel quite well through a bush, and I managed to use the shovel to drag a very dead rattlebug out into the daylight.

This time, the freaky snake dance was a triumphant one, and I didn’t even care that I lost my flip-flop again. I walked (sort of, considering the one shoe) back to my truck with a newfound sense of accomplishment and the echoes of the western movie whistle in the back of my mind.