It rained. It rained and it rained. However, my bed stayed dry, as did the rest of the covered area that I call home! Walking was not an option on Wednesday, and walking 'the trail' was out of the question for the next few days. This was somewhat of a delight to Samantha, as on Tuesday we had espied an eight legged creature of quite sizable proportions, which although (apparently) very docile and relatively harmless, bears a name that makes many shudder.
As 'the trail' is an uninhabited piece of rocky terrain, that resembles a small forest, it is the home of many invertebrate, and whilst Samantha has absolutely no problem with yard length snakes, her phobia of arachnid, of any size, makes the walk more like a 'house of horrors', than a pleasant past-time. I am the opposite. Despite my strong dislike for the theraphosids, (if I mention the commonal garden name for the eight legged species, I shall be divorced by my offspring,) my respect for them is greater than for the legless slitherer, whom I detest, notwithstanding their claim to clear the area of another one of my pet hates, (pet being very loosely used,) namely, vermin!
However, I digress. It rained. It rained and it rained! Our local meteorologist, who was dressed in a formal business like attire, entered my bedroom via the wonders of cable television, and explained that the latest 'tropical depression' was moving across the length of the country, but we were not expecting any light shows. It was 'just rain, people'! Dana had an appointment at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, and I was in charge of the ship! Tuesday had been a very quiet day at the office. We attributed the slowdown to the 'midterms', being held on that day, and hoped that election fever, which had been dominating most of the television commercial space, would now diminish. Very few candidates advertised what they could do for you, but rather what their opponent couldn't and a catalogue of atrocities that have been committed by the person whom they are running against became the norm. Instead of the kangaroo court-type airings, our television interludes returned to the more important things, like how to mend split ends, and what mouthwash will allow you to achieve your goal, as long as you are not suffering from moderate or severe lack of judgment!
With the creepy crawlies having scuttled back to their lairs, (of course I mean literally, but I can understand the sentence being used on a metaphorical plateau,) the week continued with a few light spots of rain drizzling on to the already sodden ground.
Rain slows everything down in Austin, and the turning of the seasons (which is not as well defined as in other areas) is accepted with less tolerance. The week ended with faces looking as cloudy as the sky. However, the one thing that does remain constant is my sense of humour, and my moderate to severe sarcasm. The rain does not dampen my ability to say things that cause others to think I am somehow, 'not of this world'. In fact, a lot of the time, many I am sure consider me to be as funny as a theraphosid!
Since the new regime has been put into place, (in my household rather than in the political climate,) and my housework chores have been spread over the course of the week, rather than crammed into a Saturday morning, I am ready to leave the condo at a much earlier hour for the outings of which we partake at the weekend! Saturday morning was dry, but rather chilly. Even the wildlife was snoring when we departed for the weekly shop, and the chirping of crickets, and buzzing of cicadas were not to be heard. The butterflies that have inhabited the area appeared to have fluttered by and were no longer a sight to behold. We left the condo and drove to our first port of call.
Once Halloween has finished haunting, the stores consider that Thanksgiving accessories must have been purchased, as the rows and rows (and rows) of yuletide decorations are unavoidable. The theraphosids had given way to the robin, and the ghouly ghost to a spirit of more pleasing persona! My sarcasm remained in tact! We failed to find anything to purchase in Target, but not because they lacked variety. The lady presenting the coffee machine did not think me worthy of a performance, and refused to make eye contact, despite my continuing attempts. It was not that I really wanted a demonstration, nor a cup of coffee, but it became a battle of wills, and I lost! In my defense, I was not the only female to fail. Dressed from head to toe in black, she resembled the theraphosid whom eats her prey after intimacy, and at the risk of sounding cynical, she sought the attention of male shoppers. As public indecency is a crime in Texas, the only passion she could legitimately extend was that towards her coffee machine, and the devouring was performed solely by her eyes!
We purchased fruit and vegetables at our usual stop, and headed on into Costco. I had pictures to retrieve, and waffles to buy! The promoters were far more conscious that their wares would have a better chance of selling, to both men and women, if they were to oblige the potential vendor with a sample of their goods. I had no idea that Tofu could be a substitute for milk or ice cream, but the shake that was blended was of excellent texture and taste. Samantha has experienced a slight intolerance of all things dairy, and was elated that she could, once again, possibly be able to enjoy the delights of something as simple as a milkshake! With a 'twelve pack' in our cart, a box of waffles, and some eggs, we made our way to the check out. As Samantha requested a 'gift card' to use at the petrol pump, the invertebrate slithered along and stood by her side. "Missss Sssssamantha", the human formed snake hissed. She continued with the schpeil about executive membership and would not stop until she had metaphorically twisted herself around my daughter, squeezing the breath from her. "I am not the main cardholder. She is!", she managed to squeal, pointing towards me, and as the boa came towards me, Samantha let out a quick bullet, "And we are not interested!" Unfortunately, this failed to stop the creature in her tracks, and as she slithered up and hissed, "Missss Trassseee", I stood my ground. Perhaps I am being unkind, as everyone has a job to do, but as I have mentioned before, dishonesty is not a trait I find attractive, nor appealing, and when it is blatant, I react according. Saving two cents on every dollar I spend is an incentive. However, in order for me to regain the extra I would have to pay for 'executive' membership, I would have to spend a great deal more than I do each time I visit the warehouse. At best, (I calculated quickly,) I could possibly break and only then if I needed to replace all of my household appliances! I felt the beginnings of the constrictive sentence start to hug me, and the words, "You are losssing money" were responded to, in harmonic tones, sung loudly, "No! I am not!" The grip released, and the snake slithered away, defeated. I expected a round of applause, but it did not materialise. A few small sighs of relief were enough of a 'thank you', and the odd knowing smile sufficed!
Our final stop was invertebrate free! It held equipment to capture all sorts of animals, mammals, fish and fowl, but fortunately the natives were friendly. (Correction) Nearly all the natives were friendly. Sarcasm is a rare trait in these parts, and when I encounter a fellow citizen of the realm, I find it hard not to go to war! After all, I was not dubbed 'Queen' for nothing! My daughter was searching for some new trousers, and after making a selection asked if I could see a place where she could 'try them on'. I asked, politely, a store member, "Can you tell me where the changing rooms are". Perhaps she took offence at my ending a sentence with a preposition, but I would venture to guess the 'p' word was not in her vocabulary. (It is experience, rather than cynicism that leads to this perception.) The raising of the eyebrows, and condescending look was followed by the answer. "Yes, right there, in the middle of the store, where you see the sign, 'Fitting Room'. You see it?" A chance to retaliate was at hand. "Samantha", I shouted across the store. "It's there, right in the middle of the store. Where it says 'Fitting Room'. You see it?" She had, before I made the announcement! I looked back at the salesgirl, who appeared to be a little embarrassed. I smiled in a way that I hoped would let her know that with age comes wisdom, and you can't win them all! Sometimes I feel a little bad at how I react, but other times it feels good to win!
The trousers were a good fit, and a reasonable price. At the checkout Samantha was asked to enter her zip code into a contraption at the end of the desk, and the price rang up at fifteen dollars less than the price tag. "Wow", I responded. The salesgirl (not the same one I hasten to add) smiled, and giggled that it was a real good buy. "How much are they if you don't put in your zip code?". I could not help myself. The battle had raged, I had won, and now I was basking in my glory. The giggle returned, but a little less confidently. "They are the same price, Ma'am". I was gracious, as a Queen should be, and told her that I was speaking in jest. Relief flooded her face, and I apologised for my behaviour before my daughter had a chance to do it for me!
We returned home and unloaded the car. The sun was shining and the temperature was pleasant. Birds were singing, the crickets were still not chirping, and the cicadas were not buzzing. The butterflies were not fluttering by, and as far as I could tell, the hibernation process of the theraphosids had not been halted. Those that were washed from their homes and returned, stayed indoors. However, the sun was shining and the ground was dry.
A sunny week ahead is forecast, and walks along the trail may resume, although I think that the sounds of spring may have to hit the air before my offspring is brave enough to venture along the rocky crags that houses natures finest. It is their territory after all and we are invading their space. Although they do not, as a rule, (apparently) enjoy venturing into our domain, they have a right to their home, no matter our dislike of their appearance. The human variety, on the other hand, may not be as graciously tolerated! Perhaps all will just slither away into ........... another story!