giant killer mutant pythons, holes to china, and haven.

Hello, to all our favorite people! We hope you had a wonderful weekend! Ours was filled with popsicles, mini adventures and multiple brushes with death. Stay tuned, because this week, we have our {oh so promised!} part one on our how-to for our handmade hideaway. I also don’t think I’ve talked about this yet, because it kind of snuck up on me…{hangs head in shame} but I’m gearing up to head to Haven! Anyone else going?


I can’t wait to meet some of you fabulous people!

For today, I had yet another installment for our handmade nursery ideas ready and rarin’, but alas, life happened…and sometimes, those are the stories that must be told. So without further ado…

Jamin was out of town. And by out of town, I mean, out of the country. As in, Mexico. I never share things like that, but when I do {just be warned, potential scary stalkers} I have a huge dog and an alarm system and freaky booby traps made from old furniture rejects. But speaking of Dogs, I totally shooed the kiddos out the door on Saturday morning to take advantage of the beautiful weather. And when I stepped outside to join them, Chloe was going bezerk.

As in, feriociously digging around Jamin’s old gas grill {he just converted to charcoal and this one has a broken part, yet he still can’t bring himself to part with it} bezerk. And the kids were yelling at her {No, I have no idea what they were wearing, and why one was totally naked} bezerk. Lately, there have been a lot of snakes (we just found one in our yard two weeks ago) so of course, my mind was all, There’s a man eating blood sucking gargantuan killer python all up in mah plane grill! I shooed the kids up into their hideaway, fetched a hoe, and braced myself.

My first fear was that there may be a few tracker jackers hornets waiting to attack as soon as I moved it. And I usually act like a total idiot around anything with stingers. As in, every-man-for-himself, I momentarily-forgot-I’m-a-mom-see-ya-kids-I’m-going-inside-hope-you-can-fend-them-off, idiot. Just to give you an example as to the extremity of my freakazoid reaction, linked to this post from last summer as it pertains to insects, and made this graph. Just for you.

Except this time, there wasn’t a Jamin to scream at. So I screamed at him on the phone in Mexico instead. This was after I experienced the unpleasant mixed emotions of hearing the rustle of an obvious mammal underneath the grill. Nails and hair on metal.

No snake.

Sometimes, as we all know, it’s the unknown that terrifies us. And when I barely moved the grill, I saw a gigantic tail poking out from underneath.

When push comes to shove, and it’s time to man up, I’m your gal. I mean, I totally killed a black widow the other day. And cut my own wood with a saw. I may as well be a dude at this point, because I was ready to defend our home to the death. At least until it came running at me with bloodthirsty flesh eating fangs, and I fled squealing like a girl.

So there was this possum tail. For all the grammatical purists out there, I’m pretty sure you don’t read my blog much, because probably I drive you bonkers. You probably use poorly selected fonts, so I guess we’re even. And I’m pretty sure it’s opossum, but I hate writing that. Because it’s obnoxious. So possum it is. I have my own rules.

There were two options, and I was running out of time.

A. Let Chloe continue to dig a hole to China until she uncovered the animal and hope for the best. Which would really translate to Chloe sniffing, and eventually rubbing her head on it, until it bit off her ear.

B. Get someone to help me capture and release.

This may surprise you, but I’m actually a big animal lover. As in, I grew up with a Galapagos tortoise, amongst twenty something other gargantuan exotic additions, and my family was basically the Dr. Dolittle crazy farm of our quiet, nice suburban neighborhood. We could have charged admission like those gator farms you see in Florida. Except I lived there and it didn’t smell like rotting flesh and poo and no one called animal protection. The first time Jamin came to my house in college, he had no idea. We sat and drank lemonade on the back porch. And some animals started making out, unseen, underneath our feet on the deck. Jamin wanted to know what that {awfully horrific} huffing sound was.

I. Was. Mortified.

I just over explained myself to say, that option A was never an option. Because I kind of like my dog, and secondly, I can’t in good conscious kill something. In my house, and it’s a game changer. It must die. Outside, it still has a chance. We couldn’t wait for nightfall and hope for the best, because well, it may have a nest, and I needed to know what step C. would be. So I racked my brain and decided to head over to my neighbor’s house.

“Our neighbors are from Africa,” my brain actually told myself in it’s panicked stereotype for a really cool country I’ve never visited mode, “He’ll know what to do! He’s probably killed lions and stuff.”

If I’d actually asked him that, he probably would have quipped with an I thought you were from the south. Isn’t that dinner? So it’s probably a good thing I didn’t ask if he’d wrestled a lion. Ridden an ostrich. Or starred in The Ghost and The Darkness. I guess I’ll never know.

With him, and his son’s help, they totally came to my rescue.

We moved the grill just far enough for the offender to scare into a bucket, and I thanked my new bestie neighbor {and Home Depot for their generously deep bucket size} immensely. He was my hero. It was a young possum…at least 1/3 of the size of our last encounter… Shew!

I took the lid off long enough to take his pic. And then put it back on quickly before he had time to go all rabid and attack my face off. Emerson sometimes gets her words a little mixed up {pillowcase/suitcase, peanut butter/butter, beads/beatles.} So she kept asking if the pasta was going bite her face off. Or if she could pet the pasta. The child lingers between such extremities.

The kids and I formed a parade, traipsing over into the woods from where our little Swiss Family Robinson cast member probably originated. He quickly scurried into a tree, and was all, see ya tonight, suckas!

He was kind of cute, in a giant rat kind of way. What do I know? I once had a pet squirrel.

If I wake up and this dude is scratching on my window tonight, he’s dead.

What’s your latest wildlife/insect/Over The Hedge encounter? Spill it.

I adore your stories!

And if you’re going to Haven, please let me know? I’d love to meet ya!

Happy non-intrusive brush with death wildlife Monday, y’all!

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Responses to giant killer mutant pythons, holes to china, and haven.

  1. Mila says:

    This is hilarious. We had a similar experience with a bat and I was cowered in the corner. If I were a blogger, I would be at Haven and waiting to meet YOU! Have fun, girl!

  2. stacy says:

    Thanks for sharing this Ash, just what I needed this morning to get this day back on track. So glad it was only a possum — cause I was on the edge of my seat there for a minute! :)

  3. Too funny! That little guy is kind of cute. We have a really small dog, and we had a really large possum in our yard not too long ago. The dog thought she could take on the possum (I say “possum” too), which was completely stupid.

    I’m going to Haven!! I fly in early on Wednesday morning…it’s my first conference, and I’m pretty nervous!

    • Awesome, Amanda! Can’t wait to meet you! ;} This is my second conference, (I really just bummed around at Blissdom 1.5 years ago and didn’t go to any classes because it was a last minute decision to go, but still hung out with people, etc.) and the butterflies don’t get better, apparently. Ha! I’m just there to have fun though, so I can’t wait to see you! ;}

  4. A few weeks ago a huge rat snake that was up in our front tree crushed to death and then consumed an entire squirrel. It was like a National Geographic special right in our yard! The 5′ long snake was back on the ground later that night and we got some pictures of it lying there with a huge lump in its middle. Crazy sauce. Oh, and welcome to Florida, where there are crazy animal shows in your yard, not just at those freaky gator farms :)

  5. Katie says:

    Eww! I don’t think I would have been able to stand so close to that thing. I’m miles away and I just picked my feet off the floor! :) I’ll be at Haven! Let’s meet up. It’s my first blog conference ever so I’m scared and excited at the same time!

  6. I had a similar experience when I was little, but it was with a bat inbetween my mattresses. Talk about being scared when there are two little beady eyes staring at you from your bed. And we are friends with a family here in Alabama that kept a pet possum for many years. She recently died (the possom, not the family), but they would hold and pet her all the time.

  7. Pamelotta says:

    I have lots of stories of animals and humans clashing around our place, like the time a baby skunk got into our compost container and ate so much he couldn’t get out the next morning, but I thought you’d enjoy a visual so I’ve linked a video of one of our encounters. I promise I had every intention of being a calm, cool and collected documentary narrator. I hate that I turned into such a ninny!

    • HYSTERICAL. That mug was HUGE! I would have DIED!!! I love how you totally were all, see ya son! and left him to catch the snake! HAHAHAHAHAHA. I know you weren’t really, but still. hysterical giggles funny.

  8. Heather says:

    I would have been terrified. My husband is totally my go-to guy when stuff like this arises. I don’t know what I would have done. Great job!

  9. [email protected] says:

    This was fabulous! Thank you for sharing – totally made my Monday. You write – like I think. I always enjoy you honesty and sense of humour!!

  10. Pam P. says:

    We are used to having a few mice hanging around but we also have Jack Russells that take care of them. One night, the dogs were going crazy so I let them out and staring me right in the face, at eye level was a raccoon who had jumped on the table on the patio, next to the backdoor. I screamed and took off running back into the house. The Jacks took off running for the raccoon. They didn’t get it but needless to say, I screamed and ran like the raccoon was an axe murderer! Two nights later, I was looking in the garden and the dogs, again, were going crazy and I saw a tail. I screamed at my husband to look at the size of this rat and was just about to let the dogs take care of business, only to see it was a possum. I guess he was coming back for whatever the raccoon had forgotten.

  11. HILARIOUS! i’m also the biggest scaredy cat baby when it comes to bugs. I would probably pass out if I encountered a wild animal. Your story reminds me of this Geico commercial that’s running now that has me dying laughing every time I see it:

  12. Jenni says:

    I’ve run into two possums before, and each time my two little pups (20 lbs and 30 lbs) took care of them for me. One was a baby, and another time was a full grown adult. They didn’t quite finish off the adult, but a bullet took care of that sucker.
    They’ve also tried to attack an armadillo, but I called them back and let it escape (yay for being able to stop before there is blood everywhere). I don’t know if it is true or not, but I’ve heard that armadillos can transfer leprosy to humans. Didn’t feel like testing it.
    My dogs can also catch birds out of the sky, and of course they chase squirrels all the time.
    I’ve also been freaked out by frogs in my garden (something about not noticing them till they jump just makes me freak out), and snakes in my flowers.
    The one thing I cannot stand though is crickets. I can handle slugs, spiders, flies, etc. But crickets reduce me to jumping on top of furniture and screaming for my husband. Sometimes I just put a cup over them so he can take care of them later.
    It wasn’t until I typed all this up that I realized how country I sound. But I live in a city! Oh well…

  13. Peggy Pyles says:

    Hi! This was the first time I’ve read your blog…so funny!! It reminded me of an encounter I had with a possum (I agree, totally, about the opossum term!). Years ago, we lived in a home where our washer and dryer was in an open door shed behind the house. The shed also housed a tall freezer. One evening, I went out to get the clothes out of the dryer. My husband had just parked the lawnmower in front of the doorway of the shed. Grumbling, I climbed over the mower and went over to the dryer. All of a sudden, from the top of the freezer, something hissed and jumped…hitting my back, and crawled around my foot and ran! The only thing I saw was the glimpse of his nasty rat-like tail. Your graph about bugs is exactly the same as my graph about rodents. Screaming, I leapt OVER the mower and ran to the house! Needless to say there was an ultimatum made. If my husband wanted clean clothes, he had better get rid of that THING! He captured it, and let it loose in the trees. I was very glad when we bought another home a year later, in the next town over…. :) To this day, my stomach makes a funny lurch when I look at a picture of a possum….

  14. Hannah says:

    OMG! I’m not alone!! Not even a week ago I woke up at 1:30am to nurse my baby and, as always, randomly realized I needed to pee. So I put her down and walked into the bathroom….. and there was a POSSUM! ON THE TOILET!!! Drinking the water!! I was too shocked to even scream so I fell backwards out of the bathroom and closed the door and then scooped up my baby and started screaming for my husband. Hahaha I still don’t know how it got in! It played dead long enough for him to sweep it into a giant graco swing box we still had and he walked it down the street and let it go. Ugh!

  15. Kelsey says:

    Laughing so hard right now oh my gawd.

  16. Laura J says:

    I followed your link in today’s post and found myself reliving my own possum encounter. I think my whole body is twitching thinking about it. I had an odor in my home for over a week that just wouldn’t go away. I kept smelling drains and air duct vents hoping to find the source. I finally decided it was in the attic or under the house. The attic being the easier of the two to access, I started my search there. I was quite disappointed to not find anything because this then meant I would have to crawl under my house army crawl style. This was one of those “man, I wish I had a husband and one who liked being a hero” to crawl for me. A friend of mine’s parents live a couple streets up so I called Jose. He came with his granddaughter. I have no clue, why he brought her but I’m sure she loved watching craziness unfold. Jose opened the crawl space door and decided it was too muddy and he wasn’t prepared. He said I had to go in. Excuse me?! So I headed inside to find appropriate clothing. What does one wear to such an event? I found a hat, gloves, mask and the jump suit I bought for a costume at youth camp about 8 summers ago and hadn’t worn since. So classy. So armed with a hoe from Jose’s truck and some plastic bags I crawled in far enough to look behind the door where Jose suspected I’d find something based on the fact that flies were swarming there. Let’s just say the next few minutes were torture and resulted in a dead possum in my bag. A few days later I was driving in my mom’s neighborhood and a dead possum was in the road. I had to yell at myself to keep my eyes on the road because it gave me shivers to think of such things. Post traumatic stress, I’m sure.