Thursday, March 09, 2006

snakes, designs, and things that go bump in the night

OK, so according to many of husband's colleagues, we are lucky to have a sort of vivarium in our backyard, an ideal place for a very specific kind of harmless garter snake to flourish. I am not so fond of the snakey things as everyone else in the Biology Department seems to be. Now, I have good reason not to be, because I was ill from a poisonous snake bite for about 2-3 weeks when I was a teenager. Swollen leg, high temperatures, and other disgusting vomitous symptoms keep me from having enthusiasm over snakes. Anyhow, years later, we move to Kentucky, and we have a backyard full of garter snakes. They love to pop out for a little sunbathing on warm days in the spring time, and it gets worse from there...they like to rear up and pretend they are really scary snakes, too. Harry and Sally like to tag team the snakes. There is group barking, killing, and then they trade the dead wiggly things back and forth. Gross, huh? Observe the guys...saying what, who, ME? Are you mentioning someone else, maybe? It was really that other dog, over there.
After I catch them in the snake dance and killing act, I have to get rid of the dead snake. I go to the shed for a shovel. I hear rustling. I can't go in. I am unnerved. Maybe a possum or a skunk or raccoon is in there with its babies? My nerves are shot after the snake incident. I chicken out and go get a trowel. I get close to the snake. It seems dead. I lean over. I just can't stomach removing this snake with a trowel. That's too close for me. Ugh.

I call the biologist husband, who laughs and says, of course he'll remove the dead snake. (note here, he is afraid of bats, so I don't have to feel bad about the snakes.) He leaves the shovel out for me, just in case I need it later.

That night, the young bird dogs go outside in the dark. There are outrageous barking, screaming noises. I rush out to find Harry flinging himself against the shed. Imagine a cartoon dog, on his hind legs, paws spread, ears spread further, against the shed door. X 2. Yes. Sally, too. More barking and screaming. There is definitely something alive in the shed. It takes 20 minutes to catch dogs. We resort to walking them in the yard on leashes. Husband will empty out the shed in the morning before catching a flight north to visit family.

He empties the shed. There is nothing in it. No nest, no animals. Maybe a crack big enough for a mouse or two, he figures. We are wrung out with the drama of it all...yes, now the dogs have figured out, this is definitely about them:


And that's it. No more drama. We have no idea what happened with all that rustling and the screaming dog alert system. We must remain in the dark forever. Life is full of tough mysteries like that. It's excruciating for insatiably curious people like me... but if it's another big snake or even a possum mom and her babies, I can live with the mystery. Yuck.

On the knitting work front, I spent the last week madly producing a camisole knitting pattern -another design for Knit Picks. Again, it will have to be a mystery to you, since I've signed a contract and I can't show off the design. However, it is lacy, but not overly girlygirl, and well, the husband likes it...kind of sexy, too.

What isn't a mystery? I'm almost done getting Lambie ready for his big time debut as my first self-published PDF downloadable pattern. Lambie has been joined by Doggie, his stuffed animal pal. Doggie is almost as cute as Harry and Sally, but not quite...but on the other hand, you can buy a pattern of Doggie on my website, soon. H&S? Harry the dog drama queen and Sally squirrelpants Pointer? Not for sale. :)

2 Comments:

Blogger Angela said...

I have things that go scritch in the night, but they have been served with an eviction notice ;)

March 9, 2006 at 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Joanne,

I love you, even if I have to bury your dead snakes for you.

Your hubby,
Jeff

March 11, 2006 at 9:31 AM  

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