Centipedes, Dead Bunnies And Scorpions, Oh My.
Honey, this ain't Kansas no more. Has the Malibu honeymoon worn off yet, no, not yet. Have I stood on the desk chair with hands clasped to a gaping mouth for five minutes or even more at the 8 inch long centipede sighting on the sofa? Yes. Have I sat in the middle of the coffee table with all of the lights on not moving a muscle until Dean came home at midnight from work after spying a scorpion snacking on an earwig in the corner? Yes. Have I nearly hurled my morning coffee after Noah and I witnessed the landowner's dog corner and maul a baby bunny--not leaving a hare to spare? Yes. Yes. And, Yes.
My devoted family, friends and readers, this is it. This is the post that you have been waiting for. No more happy, smiley collages of life on the ranch or frolics on the beach. This is our life, so far on Milagro Ranch, revealed, raw and uncut for the very first time.
In summation, life for the last two months here has been hard. It's been sprinkled with moments of enjoyment--the stunning scenery, the fabulous flora and fauna, the solitude, the quiet, the star-lit night sky, the sandy rocky shore just 5 miles down a beautiful canyon road. Sure, we've even played with Julia Robert's kids down at the local playground (that's kind of cool, right?). But the rest of the time--it's been downright difficult. I have shed a tear or two of frustration, terror and exhaustion. City life is not missed at all, but sometimes the conveniences are. City life, we have determined, is easy. Sure you have to move your car by 8 a.m. on street cleaning days twice a week. Sure the sounds of helicopters and sirens at 2 a.m. wake you from your slumber and the dumpster diggers startle the baby awake daily. But it's easy dammit. Compared to this.
It took over a month to get the washer and drying properly hooked up--converting a gas dryer to run on propane, installing a hot water line, setting up the waste water pipe to properly run off into the garden down the hill, building, from scratch, a clothesline pole--painted a cheerful yellow. We finally have clean, dry clothes.
A brief but terrifying earwig infestation was thankfully nipped in the bud by an organic solution of various essential oils.
Sightings of the kinds of spiders only for science fiction comic books and the size of small dogs have been fewer and fewer--thanks to diligent weather stripping of doors and windows.
This past Saturday evening at dusk, an unwitting Dean left the screen door open while he and Noah went to hang something on the line. A few minutes later while eating dinner, it was discovered that a tiny field mouse has gained entrance. After a sometimes humorous and terrifying chase ensued, Dean successfully trapped the live but battered mouse (thanks to our worthless cats) in a mason jar and released it back into the wild night after allowing Noah a peek or two.
Snakes sunning on dusty painted steps, lizards lurking on sun-warmed rocks, gigantic vultures playfully picking at fresh roadkill, crows carrying off chipmunks for snacking and owls blocking our way on the windy narrow mountain pass at night . . .
This is the other side of the desert country coin--the side I haven't managed to capture in picture collages. Perhaps it is these time that I am too terrified to cross the room to retrieve the camera or just plain frozen with fear.
We will survive here. I know we will. And we will have grand stories to tell when we are older. Noah will have an adventurous early-life narrative. It's just the getting through the now part that's trying, as we adapt from life in Los Angeles to life on a ranch in the middle of nowhere Malibu.