So in my last post I shared a little bit about the things we needed to buy or acquire to manage our property and about some of the work we have been doing. To catch up you can read Life in the Country Part One here.
Bugs and other things that aren’t humans:
Nature! Nature is fun. We are working diligently to learn about all of the critters out here that we come across. Week 2 we met a snake. A HUGE SNAKE. He was just hanging out on our front lawn near our front door. That was cool. Everyone said he would eat all the mice for me which is super generous of him but I shudder to imagine my one year old stumbling over him on her way out to play. The SECOND time we saw him Mike picked him up and threw him over a far off pasture fence and we haven’t seen him since. When I brought this up to the previous owner of this home she said her husband found one in the basement once. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Also spiders. They are everywhere. I cannot even begin to describe to you my fear and loathing of those things. I mean, it’s not a rational fear I know. I actually get a visceral reaction in my body when I see them. Those of you who share this fear know what I’m talking about. So I learn about them. I try to find out what kind they are and fun little facts about them and the kids and I study them and yuck. I’m slowly feeling less panic when I see them. I’m even letting one live right above our front door. I told him if he steps even one tiny leg inside he’s done for.
Barn swallows. . . can’t live with them, can’t live without them. They build these little mud nests that make a huge mess everywhere when you knock them down. (IF you can knock them down. apparently they are made of mud and CONCRETE) Every spring they will build them on my wrap around porch, my sanctuary. And I will have to knock them down OVER AND OVER until they give up. If you don’t get rid of their nests this is what will happen to your porch:
But they eat so many bugs! So they can stay in the barn. And they are actually really pretty. And their babies are cute.
Wasps. They are everywhere you don’t want them to be. We can’t use our back porch right now. They built their hive right underneath it and it’s impossible to get to. I honestly have no idea what we will do about it but it’s a real bummer. They have them under many of the eaves of the house too 3 stories up in the air. Sometimes one finds its way into the house and that’s always an adventure.
Speaking of finding a way into the house- One day this yucky smell developed somewhere around our guest bathroom. This happens to also be the bathroom where our washer and drier are located. And we just happened to have company coming to stay with us in just a few days. I originally thought it was the washing machine because I have not had the best luck with front loaders. They always get stinky. So I cleaned the bathroom like crazy and got one of those tablets to clean the washer and the smell just got worse and worse. Mike and I physically stuck our heads into the stupid washer and it actually didn’t stink! I started to think it smelled like something had died. It’s really quite an unmistakable smell. I googled “dead mouse in the wall” and you would not believe the articles that popped up. Oh my goodness what a problem this is. Apparently sometimes they get trapped in the wall somewhere and just die! And the smell gets worse and worse as their little bodies decay and there’s not a thing you can do about it without a sledge hammer. It took about 2 weeks for the smell to go away. Did I mention I have the nose of a hound dog. It’s the craziest thing. It smelled so bad. It smelled like the mouse was dead inside my nose. Then about a month ago it happened again! right between my closet and the guest room closet. I mean are you kidding me? That’s where my clothes are! I started having nightmares that I would be out in public somewhere and my clothes smelled like rotten mouse! I was texting my friend Sam who had lived in the country in TX as a kid and she said it happens all the time. Her exact words were “You’ve seen Secret of Nimh right? That’s what your ‘between the wall area’ is for field mice. It’s like a rodent version of the labyrinth-and somewhere in there is the mouse version of David Bowie rockin a blond wig.” haha! Anyway it’s 3 weeks later and sometimes I can still smell it but it’s fading.
Japanese lady beetles. These are the bugs that look like faded orange ladybugs. They were brought here from Asian to control crop pests. They bite! and they have a distinctive odor that I have come to strongly dislike. When the season turns colder they started to look for places to hibernate. Turns out they are more attracted to lighter colored houses (weird) There are literally 100s of them in my house every day. I have to vacuum constantly. On really hot days outside the air is thick with them.
We are all adjusting to living here and are getting tough! 🙂 We love our country home despite all the new pests and sometimes I still can’t believe this is really my life! This post only took me 2 months to finish. Being a homeschoolin’ homesteadin’ mama is so busy! I can’t wait to write and tell you all about our new fur babies and catch you up on some of the other adventures we’ve had so far.