One morning a few weeks ago, eyelids drawn against the assault of bright light, I felt my way into the bathroom and turned on the water to wake up my face.
Up popped something from the drain which made my eyes fly open without the water: a scorpion, moving fast.
I guess cold water wakes them up, too.
How I wish I could tell you I scooped him into something and released him outside with a scolding about being in the house. But I didn't. It was just too early to think beyond that heart-stopping moment. I grabbed my sandal and, well, I'll spare you the gory details.
We've heard scorpions travel in pairs, so I kept my eyes open for its mate in the house, but I never saw another one... until this past weekend. On Sunday, my oldest was gathering his things preparing to head back to his place. When he moved Miss Josie's dog kennel, it revealed a small black scorpion - in attack mode, no less, at being discovered.
It, um, died soon afterwards.
A few hours later I received a text that another scorpion had hitched a ride on their cooler back to their apartment! A cooler that had been sitting on my kitchen floor all day. I didn't have to ask about the fate of that one.
If you're inclined to judge us for being so callous, take a look at this photo of a scorpion eating a Daddy-Long-Legs later that same night... and imagine it in your bathroom sink or inches from your foot.
Now, do you really blame me?
This one was only a couple of inches long. Tom was feeding the dogs when he spotted it outside. After he snapped several shots, I grabbed the camera and took a few more. We're sick that way.
Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when I stepped into our front bathroom yesterday morning and discovered this in the toilet bowl...
I was really expecting a scorpion!
The poor little thing was shivering, trying desperately to keep its head above water.
Thank goodness Tom was home. He grabbed a plastic container, scooped Mickey up, and released him in some shade outside. He was a kangaroo mouse, not the typical house mouse, so we figure he just slipped in through an open door in search of water.
We hope so, anyway.
But I totally understand why you're reconsidering your visit to me this summer, at least until we get some rain to relieve the drought. It's been a little crowded around here for my comfort, and I'm sort of used to all of these critters.
I even discovered this guy crashing on a photo frame in the front hallway. He was quiet and kept his spiny legs to himself, though, so I left him alone.
And now for my sweet! moments from the past week...
Monday: a day with your daughter, helping her get ready for a job; great customer service; Whataburgers and memories
Tuesday: that first cup of coffee after fasting all morning for a test; La Madeleine veggie omelettes; spotting a hummingbird, cardinal, small greenish bird and robin-ish bird within a few minutes of each other; talking to your mom, rocking on the porch, watching birds visit the feeder, with a sleeping dog beside you
Wednesday: dogs running with joy; the brilliance of a Blue Grosbeak; a call from your sister
Thursday: a mother duck swimming with her baby; two different herons posing for you on an evening walk; a text out of the blue from a dear friend, just checking on you; a productive day, even if it just scratched the surface of all you needed to accomplish
Friday: your husband home to rescue the mouse you find in a toilet, so you don't have to deal with it; a call for a job interview; friends who send you information on potential jobs; a call from your mom letting you know your oldest and your grandpuppy arrived for their visit, safe and sound; staying up late on the back porch, listening to Led Zeppelin, discussing work, history, and religion with your middle son
Saturday: a morning walk with your puppies before work; a call from a friend with an interesting and meaningful writing job proposal; cheese pizza, fresh from a brick oven, Ahi tuna, and roasted vegetables at work, and homemade burgers hot off the grill at home
Wishing all of you a sweet!-filled week, beginning today!