Gardening

Hello Fall, Goodbye Composting

Who’s ready for crisp weather, apple pie, and colorful, crunchy leaves? What about slimy, decayed leaves with a moldy banana peel on the side? Welcome to our compost pile!

I built it out of a dog gate and wire fencing right after we moved in. Lyla was excited to help me throw food scraps, leaves and branches in so we could “make dirt.” I kept a large Tupperware container on our kitchen counter for us to put our coffee grinds in as well as any fruit or vegetable scraps. But then I stopped taking it out every day, and it started to smell. Not surprising. But then the fruit flies came. And even though I grew up on a farm and bugs don’t really creep me out, I draw the line at the door step. So it had to go.

The fruit flies scattered throughout the house. Uh, one actually just flew in front of my face as I’m writing this. Those little boogers are too quick to catch! I’m pretty sure that when I discovered them, the leader of the flock said to his troops, “Everyone fan out and reconvene at the trash can at 2300.” I usually go on a “bug witch hunt,” but I’m just gonna wait for them to die out this time. Cut off their food source and let them starve. My last bug witch hunt was in Georgia when I found some termites around our kitchen windowsill. I freaked out and proceeded to inspect the house, inside and out. I found more on the other side of the house too, caught in spider webs. But when the termite guy came to do an inspection we couldn’t find them anywhere… It’s like I wanted to find them so that I didn’t look crazy, but I obviously didn’t want termites in our house either.

My most famous bug witch hunt happened when we lived in Sumter, South Carolina, and this one was totally warranted. I mean, if you found a brown recluse in your car, you would freak out too, right?! So I had driven to Georgia in Thomas’ Honda Insight to visit my mom while Thomas was deployed, and I decided to take their fire pit back with me. It had been stored under their deck, and when we loaded it into the car I noticed a spider, but it ducked out of sight. I figured I’d get it later. See? I’m not that freaked out by bugs since I was willing to drive with it in the car. Well, I forgot about it. A couple of days later, I opened the trunk and faced off with a big spider sitting on the top of the back seat. I swear he was looking at me, and I KNEW he was poisonous. He just looked wicked. I grabbed a golf club and popped him. He fell over dead as a doornail and will forever haunt that Honda Insight, which now belongs to someone in Seattle. Mwahahahahaaa!

But that wasn’t the end of it for me. I scooped him into a bag and confirmed his identity with a thorough Google search. And then the heebie jeebies hit me, full out! I kept getting convulsive shivers over my whole body and turning hot, then cold, with chill bumps on my arms. It took me the whole morning to finally get the courage to peek in the car for other spider friends, babies, neighbors, or relatives. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, I forgot about the spider I saw when we loaded the fire pit. It hadn’t been a big event. So I was panicked. A real fear took over me that MY HOUSE WAS INFESTED WITH BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS. I had heard of this happening in someone’s attic or house and how hard it was to get rid of them. They bite you in your sleep or when you pull your clothes on. Uhuhuh shivers allllll over meeeee! I raced to the nearest hardware store and bought spider spray. I tried to spray the inside of the car, but I wasn’t willing to actually put my hand inside the car. Then I THOROUGHLY sprayed down the inside and outside of my house, as a precautionary method. You better believe I drove my own vehicle for the rest of the deployment! It wasn’t until my panic stricken brain calmed down and stopped shooting adrenaline through my body that I remembered I took on a hitch hiker in Georgia. And that is why Thomas called it a bug witch hunt. The memory still gives me shivers!

In conclusion, I am currently on break from composting with kitchen scraps, and the spiders of Ohio can have free reign over my compost pile.

There- now you have a freaky spider story to get you in the mood for Halloween. Happy Fall, y’all! Or, as Lyla would say, Creepy Deepy!!!

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