Tarantulas and Scorpions and Snakes, Oh, My!


Here in New Mexico, we have had way too many triple digit temperature days since last spring. Yesterday our outside thermometer got up in the mid 90s Fahrenheit. But today it’s only supposed to reach the low 60s, yaay!

Since my husband and I bought this house and moved here six months ago, we have been inundated with an unbelievable variety of pests. Right now, we are having a plague of caterpillars. There are literally thousands of caterpillars in our yard at this very moment. Plus we keep finding spiders of every variety, both inside and outside the house, including a red backed jumping spider (which I had never heard of before), several big hairy tarantulas (eek), and I recently found two toxic bark scorpions inside our home. One scorpion was walking on the ceiling of our bedroom and I did not see it until after I had climbed into bed. EEEK! (My dear hubby says that I “screamed like a girl.” ) The other scorpion was lying on the floor in the hallway when I got up before sunrise one morning. Thinking it was one of the dogs’ toys lying there in the shadowy darkness, and being the neat freak that I am, I bent down and picked it up with my bare fingers — only to discover that it was ALIVE! I was too terrified to scream, that time. Thank God it did not sting me, or I would have ended up in the hospital last week.

In our yard we have spotted numerous toads, lizards, road runners, two different varieties of snake… and yet we live in a small city, surrounded by houses and lots of traffic, on just a 1/4 acre lot. There are also ants of every size, shape, and color, all over our yard. I did not even know that there are so many different kinds of ants in the world.

My husband and I don’t like killing things, but we finally got some pesticide because we don’t know what else to do. Bark scorpions can be deadly to small pets, small children, the infirm and the elderly. And all these zillions of creepy crawly caterpillars are killing our big beautiful fruitless mulberry tree, and leaving greenish-black caterpillar poo droppings all over everything. Yuck!

I have never had such terrible problems with pests, not even when I lived out in the country. But, looking on the bright side: it is definitely not boring here. Plus I am getting a lot of exercise, chasing after spiders, flies, moths, caterpillars, and ants. Our two rescue dogs like it here too, especially Baby, our big golden mystery mix dog. She loves chasing toads and lizards, and so far she has caught two snakes!

Luckily, we haven’t seen any poisonous snakes here. Yet…

Photo of bark scorpion by Author Musides, 2008, posted on Wikipedia Commons. Thank you for stopping by and God Bless!

No, amnesia is not the solution for traumatic memories


Have you ever tried to talk about your PTSD issues with someone, only to have them cut you off with the advice to “just don’t think about it”?

If only it were that simple!

I wanted so desperately to “just stop thinking about” my traumatic memories, that I actually tried to force myself to have amnesia. I thought: other people get amnesia, so why can’t I? I tried everything I could think of to psych myself into having Zero Memories, because total amnesia would surely be better than walking around with a head full of horrible, haunting, trauma memories.

But I could not do it. I even tried self-hypnosis to no avail. My life is still my life, my memories are my memories, and they are, apparently, here to stay.

The best thing I have found for dealing with my trauma memories is simply: acceptance. Accepting that my reality is real, my life is indeed my life, the things that happened actually did happen, and no amount of wishful thinking is ever going to change any of that. It is what it is. And yet, in spite of everything, today I can honestly say that the Lord brought me through!

I recently googled the addresses of two houses that I lived in more than fifty years ago, where some of my worst childhood traumas happened. To my surprise, I discovered that both of these houses are listed online as having been for sale in the recent past. One sold in 2014, the other in 2016. Although they are no longer for sale and their listings expired years ago, all of the interior and exterior pictures are still there.

As I clicked through the photographs, I remembered this terrible thing that happened in this room, and that awful thing happening in another room. On and on, through more than fifty pictures between the two houses, my memories flooded in.

I was feeling overwhelmed! But then, a picture came up that was taken inside a family room that had been added onto the house, after it was foreclosed and my family moved away. This picture, which you can see at the top of this post, is centered on an open doorway that leads from the new family room, into the dining  area and living room beyond, two rooms that hold many haunting memories for me.

Above the wide open doorway between the new part of the house and the old, hangs two large banners. The words on the banners, in beautiful bold letters, declare:


~The above post was inspired by this terrific article by Cynthia Bailey Rug: