Where do I start with Jenn? Let’s start with the birthday party she planned for her son. Her carnival themed birthday party. With ideas she got from Martha Stewart. And when she executed said Martha-ideas, she did it well and nothing at her party looked like it had been made by deranged monkeys then left out in the rain overnight which is what any hand-made decorations and fancy cakes and cookies of mine would look like. I loved her party pics so much that I have considered outsourcing C’s next birthday to Jenn because she just does these things better than I could and besides, she lives in a place where his winter birthday wouldn’t be an obstacle to having an outdoor party.
Then I read her guest post about the creepy crawlies in her ‘hood and decided that I’ll be renting a Gymboree for C’s next birthday and thanking my lucky stars that the only wildlife in attendance will be other people’s kids.
Seriously though, Jenn is the neighbor I wish I had so that I could drop by and pretend like I wanted to borrow a cup of something, then stick around for the next hour and a half laughing my butt off in her kitchen, then return home empty-handed and trying to explain to my husband why it took so long to not borrow the thing I said I needed to borrow.
So without further ado, Jenn from Three Pugs and a Baby!
Where The Wild Things Are
Of course, I squeed inappropriately loudly when Rebekah asked me to write a post for her most awesome blog. Because I love her blog. And I love that she is pretty much always in my head and vice versa. She’s like my alter ego. She’s the macaroni to my cheese in the bloggy world.
I don’t take that lightly.
And I was slightly amused by the topics she suggested to me. Namely, I could maybe write about my dogs. Or my “thing” with wildlife. The pug direction was easy (Pugs are awesome. The end.) The “thing” is more fun.
I love nature.
Where it belongs.
I grew up in northeast Jersey. We had, what I consider to be, “appropriate wildlife.” Chipmunks. Squirrels. Bunnehs. Things that were cuddly and furry and cute. Sure you might get a deer or a raccoon, or maybe a brown bear nosing through your garbage can (In which case, you pee on yourself. Or play dead. Or a combination of the two. Whatever) But basically, nothing too threatening or horrific.
They knew their place, too. They would all stay outside like decent creatures, hiding in the woods or the brush or wherever it is that furry woodland creatures hide. I was ok with that.
I moved to Miami, where I was introduced to two things: bufo toads and muscovy ducks.
Bufo toads are big, fat suckers who release some kind of neurotoxin which can be fatal to dogs (And maybe cats). Muscovy ducks? Well, they start out cute and fluffy and ducky enough. But then they grow into these vicious, weird-faced beasts who will chase you from the campus Pizza Hut to your dorm, ready to cut you down for your breadsticks.
Or so I’ve heard.
Again. I came to terms with it. And when I tried to go to the bathroom one day and found a tree frog IN MY ACTUAL TOILET BOWL and MacGyver screamed like a girl and the next door neighbor had to come and catch the damn thing in a freaking Publix bag, I was able to move on. Kind of. I mean, I never used that toilet again. Which is a totally reasonable reaction, I think.
And then we moved again. To a place where we are on a rural mail route, and yet have a major grocery chain less than a mile away.
Oh, the insanity.
Everything went great for a few months, and then I started noticing something.
Spiders in my house. Spiders the size of my hand. Spiders that have their own zip code. Black widows and brown recluses and this weird type that carries their babies on their back so that if you squish them the wrong way, all the babies scatter and you are thwacking away like a madwoman trying to get them all before they grow up, form a resistance and return to take their revenge. Spiders that could possibly run off with your chihuahua.
Good thing we don’t have one.
There is a rooster that crows at 2:45am. Now, call me a city girl, but aren’t roosters supposed to crow at sun-up? I assure you, 2:45am is nowhere near sunrise, and I have come to the painful conclusion that roosters do whatever the hell they want without reasonable consequence. Like being made into stew.
If I feel like taking a bit of a walk, I can actually see zebras grazing in someone’s front yard. I mean, of course. Where else would your zebras be? In the back yard? That’s crazy talk, I tell you.
And then. Then there are the snakes.
Like Indiana Jones, I. Hate. Snakes.
I don’t care what anyone says. They are are nasty, slithery things and they need to stay the heck out of my yard.
And you can talk all you want about how some snakes are good, blah blah blah. Here’s the thing. All snakes looks the same. I have been on the Official Website of Snake Identification (dot org) many times and none of the pictures I take of the snakes here (I have to take pics so I can post them on facebook in the hopes that someone “woodsy” will recognize something and tell me not to worry) match up with anything there. Unless the snakes are wearing little identification placquards saying “I have no fangs; I’m a good snake” then I will stop at nothing to get them out of here.
And that includes decapitating a water moccasin with a garden rake in. My. Garage. We seriously had to paint the garage floor in order to remove all traces of the scene. It was that nasty. And I still haven’t entirely recovered.
Please note, I did not do the actual beheading. The neighbors did. I watched the process to learn technique in case I need to do it in the future, but I was not otherwise involved. However, I am hoping the other snakes take note of what happened to their buddy and steer clear so the same fate does not befall them. Because honestly, as sexist as this sounds, snake-beheading falls into the category of MacGyver’s Responsibilities, and, well, if you read my blog with any regularity, you’ll know how that’s going to end up for me.
Oh, and did I mention? I was driving to my friend’s house one day and ran over a freaking scorpion. When does the madness end?
It’s all quite an adjustment for this Jersey girl.
I’m making it work, though. I’ve been asking for a flamethrower, because I think it will be useful in my crusade against the reptilian and arachnid intruders. And I’m watching a lot more of Surviving Disaster on Spike TV. Cade Courtley is an invaluable resource when it comes to animal attacks and the like. (Plus, he’s kind of cute).
So if you come to my neck of the woods, just keep an eye out. And remember my #1 Survival Tip: You don’t have to outrun the alligator/bear/zebra/scorpion.
You just have to outrun your friend.