Thursday, October 15, 2009

slithery topics

Travel always gives me lots of topics to write about. (glad you enjoyed the last post! It was kind of funny, wasn't it!)

On Monday morning, we had a big family breakfast. My uncle, my nephews, my brother and his wife, my parents, grandmother and I were all enjoying the last bits of french toast and fruit, coffee, tea and juice when my mom went downstairs. She stopped on the landing between the sets of steps to announce the S-N-A-K-E she saw downstairs.

My uncle (who had been sleeping downstairs, as I had) turned white. Nephews (nearly 4 and 1, were kept upstairs.) My brother rushed down -wearing sandals. I had on shoes, went out right past the snake, down the hall to the garage, got a shovel, and, well, there was a violent and premeditated snake death. I did it.

I also taught a knitting class on Monday afternoon, and said nothing about this, of course! No need for them to know I was a killer....

There's something of a debate about the snake variety, it could be a rat snake or even possibly a copperhead. We're unsure. I disposed of its remains before we could discuss the matter with my youngest brother, who actually took a herpetology class in college.

Anyhow, I'm keeping the shovel inside until I leave. My uncle got his bags and left for the airport a wee bit on the early side! My dad keeps suggesting I go downstairs first, turn on the lights, and scare the critters away. Apparently I am the brave daughter here!

So far, no more sightings...although I did learn that over at my nearly 4 year old nephew's house, they now do a monster check every night under the bed and in the closet, complete with help from their dog, before he's ready to go to sleep. Obviously, I am responsible for monster checks here at my parents' while I'm visiting! (Nephew asked about the shovel while over here and when I explained I needed it for the monsters, he totally understood.)

It's getting to the point in my visit home where I am missing my house, my dogs, and the professor. I realize now that my dogs' frequent snake adventures have trained me well for this. It's gross, I'm not enjoying it, but hey, somebody needs to have confidence with a shovel.

All this is to introduce another pattern from the book, Knick Knack Paddy Whack Dog Toys. My (snake killer) dogs love these toys, and since they carry the toys around in their mouths, it's good that the yarn is natural in color, organic, and they absorb no toxic dyes while slobbering on their toys. (I try to block out what they absorbed while killing snakes in the yard in Kentucky.)

Meanwhile, I heard from the professor that the pump that circulates hot water in our boiler system heat isn't working, up in Winnipeg. Better to get that fixed now than in January...but I'm feeling an odd relationship to the Yarn Harlot right now, as she is having her furnace replaced. (I hope we don't have to!) Perhaps it's all for the best that I'm protecting my family from snakes down here in the basement in Virginia at the moment.

Last slithery topic--I had a circular needle break at the join... Right after I knit the cable row on the beginning of a sweater with over 170 stitches on the needle. Those stitches popped off like a snake on the loose. Luckily, I was in the basement--right near my mother's needles. All stitches have now been rescued. Messy, but not fatal.

Oh, and I'm looking forward to Rhinebeck this weekend, I'll be all ready to sign books on Sunday from 10-12, although the weather report is calling for both rain and snow. Lovely. Guess I won't be missing either Winnipeg's weather OR my parents' basement this weekend! Happy slithery weekend to all...

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4 Comments:

Blogger Nancy said...

Copperheads (besides being very poisonous) stink! A very distinctive odor.

Love the patty whack toys.

Take care in this obnoxious weather!

October 15, 2009 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Yowsers! Monsters under the bed indeed!

--AlisonH

October 16, 2009 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Nancy, don't know if you'll check back here, but even garter snakes give off a very stinky smell when they are frightened! (I've had my share of stinky snakes.)

I am not sure exactly what this snake was, but it didn't give off any odour to speak of. Either that or I killed it before it could go all stinky on us!

October 16, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

Do you remember the cartoon Mighty Mouse? That's what I thought of when I read your post....Here I come to save the day!!!

I've got snake-in-the-house stories, too. A house we rented years ago had a total of 9 black rat snakes over 2 years before we found how they were getting in. 1 in our bed (fortunately I was up & at work...hubby? not so fortunate) & the last 1 was about 8 ft long...went along the basement floor, up the door frame, wrapped around the handle only to continue up the rest of the door & lay across the top. We moved.

October 19, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

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