Tag Archives: bugs

Indoor-Outdoor Living


There is a show that I like to record and watch when I have sole domination of the remote control.  I indulge my travel itch by watching HGTV’s House Hunters’ International.  If you haven’t seen it, the half hour show follows around folks who are looking for homes overseas.  I like seeing the inside of houses in other countries.  I like seeing what is important and unimportant to other cultures.  I like seeing what catches a foreigner’s attention.  And sometimes I just like to laugh at the naive people who are looking for their “dream” home.


For example, there are a few episodes that are filmed here in Costa Rica.  The realtors lie… frequently.  They will show a young couple a half million dollar property in a very exclusive part of town and describe it as “traditional Costa Rican” in it’s style.  Are they serious??  And the foreigners are so gullible.  In one episode that is filmed in the surfer town of Jaco, the American buyers ask the realtor, “Why are there bars on all the windows?”  Everyone who lives here knows that Jaco is a dangerous, druggie town inhabited by transients and moral-less bohemians living the surfer life-style.  It’s a rough town full of bars and night clubs.  So when the woman on the screen says, “The bars are there to keep the wild animals out,” we howl in laughter at her double meaning which is completely lost on the wide-eyed buyers.

Sometimes I wish I could give those inexperienced folks some advice.  I would tell them to keep these things in mind:

~  You think  you want to be in the center of town and not own a car, but have you thought about lugging your groceries home without a vehicle?  Have you carried a gallon of milk for over a mile?  I don’t care how ecological that lifestyle is, it’s rough on Americans to be without a car.

~  Window bars are there for a reason.

~  Construction will take about 5x as long as you think it will, and it will cost you double what it costs a local family.  So think twice before you decide to remodel something.

~  Bathtubs are over rated.  Get over them.  You will probably only miss having a tub about 3 times per year.  It’s not worth crossing a good property off the list just because it lacks a tub.  You can bathe the children in Action Packer boxes while they are little.

~  You don’t need granite counter tops or stainless steel appliances to be happy.

~  Walls, windows and doors that are open to a pool or patio area are nice in the day time, but you have no idea what kind of critters will fly into your house once the sun goes down.  You might think it’s beautiful, you might think you’ve always wanted indoor-outdoor living, but unless you are prepared to feel like you’re camping in your own house, walk away from that one.

~  A washer and drier should be high on the priority list, but you can do without a dishwasher.

~  Finally, you will not find space like you had in your home back in Texas.  There’s a reason why they say everything is bigger in Texas.  You do not really need that guest bedroom.  Your family won’t come to visit as frequently as the rent check will be due on your oversized house in a far away land.

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/305212697/”>Stuck in Customs</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/Art/”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-SA</a>

The Spider Killer


I posted this short story on Facebook a week ago, but I wanted to share it with my non-fb friends too.  If the title didn’t act as enough of a Spoiler Alert, I should warn you, if you have heart issues related to the fear of bugs you might not want to read this.

Last night right before bed, my 11-year old Emma came rushing into my room gasping, “Spider! Spider!” as her body convulsed in a cumulative case of the heebie-jeebies.  I went into her room to kill it, but I was unprepared for the size of that monster.

“Holy Shnike!” I exclaimed.  No exaggeration, with its legs splayed out the thing was the diameter of a BAGEL.  I grabbed a can of roach spray, stood on a stool, and fired.  It fell to the ground and didn’t die!

As it scurried under the closet door I thought, “Crap! Now I have to hunt for it among the stuffed animals.  It’s going to jump out at me.”  I wildly started throwing stuffed animals out of the closet.

I found it again on the closet floor and doused it in bug spray, but the thing would not die!  Finally I grabbed a cheer-leading baton and started beating it.  Still the beast would not die! (and not because I have bad aim.) I finally knocked off a leg, and then it curled up into a slow death position.

When I flushed it down the toilet, I slammed the lid down just to punctuate my victory. That was by far the largest spider I have ever seen inside the house.  I won.

Some of you have asked where my husband was on this fateful night.  Well, he was out of the house picking up our son at Youth Group.  God was merciful to him.  He really hates spiders.  For me, spiders hold a kind of terror laced fascination, but it’s the cockroaches that make me scream.  I was raised in a family where, just for kicks, my father regularly chased my sister and I around the house with a Kleenex full of bug guts.  I have tried that on my husband and it usually ends with me collapsed in a hysterical heap of laughter, gasping for breath.  I’m giggling just thinking about it…