Spider Barrage!

Spiders 012As I went through some photographs on my terribly overloaded computer, I saw these about the windborne spider invasion a while back. I was here rather late and the night shift guy ran in and said it was snowing spiders!

Oh no! Invading Spiders From Mars! Indeed, the tiny spiders came in great drifts; had they been from Mars we’d have been Spiders 016goners!



Spiders 011





This picture should show the drifters, but I doubt the resolution. Alas!



Of course if you want to see a REAL spider threat, come to the cabin and meet Harvey!

HarveyCabin spider 2


Cabin Cleaning Progress

I moved lots of stuff out of the cabin a month ago, and got a long extend-handled scrubby thing. I got an Woods 020industrial box of trash bags. Load after load of plunder went up to town! I can hardly walk in the house in town, it is so packed. Oh yeah, gung ho, let’s take another load. Now that all of that is out of the way, I can clear out the trash, donate or sell what I don’t need and CLEAN! For Pete’s sake, I got a gallon of Pine-Sol. Wow, you should see the cabin now!

Not. The only work done around here lately was getting the front porch flashing replaced and getting gutters replaced front and back. Granted, that looks ten tons better even if the new wood isn’t painted yet. Thing is, I did not do one speck of that work, it magically happened while I worked so diligently in town.

Woods 022Wah, wah, I go to work an hour and a half earlier now, and stay an hour later because the boss up and vanished. I get to keep the crap moving (I was the equivalent of a nuclear plumber in a past life, so am qualified) with reports and meeting while still doing my job. Yes, waaah. I really don’t mind it as it needs to be done and I can do it. However, the new schedule means the things I could do in the evenings during the week have been squeezed out and there I am at the cabin playing catch up. This too shall pass.

Woods 021The onus on me for cleaning the spider webs, bat guano, dust, dirt and general accumulated grime must remain in place with no real action for the time being. I reckon I’ll get so tired of having nothing at hand (because I carted it up to town) that I will FIND the time to scrub-a-dub. Memorial Day weekend is imminent…maybe then. Sure.Woods 025


I Met A New Guy!

Walking around the woods, I keep an eye out for the newest wildflower blooms, snakes, and for something unusual. Saturday was a beauteous day, sunny without excess heat and thankfully rainless.

Fleabanes in grassThe ever-present fleabane is very pretty in the white and pink forms. I love the idea of them being flea banes, but have only found them to harbor ticks and mites.

Cabin bb blooms closeThere are many blackberry brambles around here, and never are they as obvious as when they are blooming. Wondrous cascades of white! Watch out for the fine thorns…

Yellow weed flowersThese fill entire fields, making pre-plowed farms have seas of bold yellow. Individually, they’re not much. An acre thick with them is spectacular.Woods 003.JPGOh, let’s not forget the flying flowers!


Then there he stood, frozen in place by the mere sight of me. I came closer, coy, not wishing to spook him. He may have been around since Day 1; I had not noted one before. Meet the Red Spotted Newt!Handsome little fellow, isn’t he?

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Potato Dictato

Potato Dictato

Mary Ellen Wall


I come into the living room with Jimmy’s dinner cause it was football on and his eyes was glued to it. I set the fried pork chop Dougand buttered taters on his lap and was sticking the fork, not the pointy end, into his hand when the TV went to commercials.

Stereo“What the hay are you doing? These potatoes are not fried, and I told you a hundred times I don’t want nothing but fried potatoes!”

Says I, “Them’s perfectly fine taters with fresh butter and green onions chopped all through ’em. Every little cube was cut the same size so as they’d boil even. You better eat all that if you know what’s good for you!”

He finished chewing up his first bite of the pork chop and swallered it. He dropped the rest back on the plate and made to pass it to me. When I didn’t take it, he put it on the pillow by the cat and Inky snagged the chop and was shoot-gone but he acted likeBarto short legs he didn’t see it. “Go on off with that and fix me some decent food.”

I turnt around and got the cable box, unplugged it and quicker then he could jump, I opened the window and throwed it out. His stupid beagle went straight for it while he watched and his jaw dropped to his knees.

I sidled around him, picked up his plate of cold taters, and headed for the kitchen. I announced, “You are a Tater Dictator!”

As I was dumping them in a pot to heat up so as to not waste ’em, he stomped out to the yard and retrieved that cable box. The cord was bare wires in places and I almost laughed but had no death wish.

He looked about to scream and cry at once like he does. “They were fourth and long with the two minute warning going off!”

He stared me down as I squared off with him, not willing to take any more crap from him. I do believe he well understood that.

He set the cable box on the kitchen table. “It is not ‘tater’, you ignorant hick. It is po-ta-to. Where are the keys. I’m going to Jerry Jay’s for a decent dinner.”

“Drunks don’t get keys no more. Walk. If you come back, sleep in the kennel ’cause that’s where your stuff’s gonna be.”

My Cabin!He come up real close so I had his whiskey breath in my face. I did not budge or flinch. He made an ugly face and stomped out. I smelt taters about to burn and in a flash realized I had turnt them on up high without paying attention. I turnt the burner off and shook the pot around to see if any really was burnt. Oh, Lordy, they smelt good! That butter got ’em golden and the first little chunk I picked out was crispy on one side and steaming buttery with the onion just right all through it.

I like fried taters as well as anybody. I just hate the same dang thing all the time; it gets old.

Tarzan, I’m Ready!

Apparently my woodland aspires to be a jungle. We do have a wide variety of bird songs and noises, and avian visitors Blog 040from far down south. If you’ve never heard the raucous call of the Pileated Woodpecker, think ‘The Land That Time Forgot” and add volume! We have the misplaced marsupial Opossum, the Raccoon is a Coati Mundi’s size XXL uncle and the Bobcat is our version of the dangerously fanged feline. We don’t have Boas or Pythons, but we do have pit vipers that Blog 048would rather bite you than squeeze you.

I been around woods all my life, but never have I seen such vines as here. Take these for example; fat and mossy, long and criss-crossy. When I built the cabin eons ago, the vines were merely honeysuckle gage. I’ve watched this mega-choker evolve from my marvelous vantage point, the front porch. I always thought these were jungly-enough, but recently we had some mighty winds blow through here.

This greeted me at the mailbox, “Hey baby, want to swing a while?” Oh, please. I walked around it while avoiding the poison ivy – no thanks. Um, now my arm itches. If I can find the address, I’ll send the pictures to Tarzan and George (George, George, George of the Blog 030Jungle friend of you and me! George, George, George of the Jungle watch out for that tree!). They’re both probably happily retired in Pingi-Pangi or something…but what about the Georgettes and Tarzan Juniors?

I heard that! Somebody thinks I just want to start a woodsy side show and sell tickets. That affronts my environmental sensibilities, having all that traffic and attendant trash. Somebody else thinks I want to see a scantily clad, well muscled, handsome man swinging through my hickories, yodeling. Who, me?


A Cabin-ette?

Instead of cleaning up the cabin as I planned to do and really intended to do, I have been writing more Otto Socks blueOtto and Socks stories. It’s slow going, especially when I deviate from the outline for the series. How can I not let the characters do what they want? I can’t force them, bend them to my will. Now I have to see if I can merge then latest one back into the outlined sequence.

With that frustration, I went out to enjoy the sunshine. I looked up the ridge behind the house and the image of a tiny cabin part way up popped into my head. I pictured the wide steps leading up to it. How would I get electricity up there? With juice, I could move my audio recording up there and Ma’s radio would never interfere again! I am on the edge of phone reception that far up (not at the cabin!) and could do even better with a 4G antenna for Download 090915 054WiFi! Then I could have internet, which I need to upload books to Abe Books. Did I mention I have a storefront there? ‘Old Lady Who?’ is the name, and is something I can do with a few hundred of my excess books. It would be great for uploading manuscripts, voiceover recordings, looking up references and tutorials!Science Books

Glancing back at the cabin, I noted the front gutter and the facing board it is hooked to are falling off. I am plagued by big fat boring bees. The well needs a protective shed, and has needed it for a couple decades. I looked back up the hill and the mini-cabin, the steps and the antenna had vanished. The concrete barrier to keep the ridge from encroaching on the back porch collapsed. I can’t turn on the front porch light because it trips the freezer circuit. The garage doors don’t work without brute force.

I wonder how much it would cost to build that little cabin-ette studio marvel?