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I read somewhere that you see only a small percentage of the spiders that are actually around. This week, I’ve been painting the exterior of the house, and in doing so, needed to clean the siding first. I quickly learned that using a pressure washer only helps a little, and I don’t particularly care for equipment that has water on one end and electricity one the other, with me in the middle to complete the circuit. The dead insects and spider webs must have some sort of super glue capabilities, because even a direct spray didn’t get rid of all of them. Plan B: I let it dry, then used my handy-dandy duster with a handle. This allowed me to dust under the edges of the siding so the gook didn’t stick to my paintbrush. With no extra pockets, and being up on a tall ladder, I just stuck it in the back of my pants, making me look like some sort of giant paint-spattered rabbit with a fluffy tail. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of spiders who are now homeless. From dozens of Daddy Long Legs to tiny little red spiders and every color in between, the colors of the spider rainbow probably even included Black Widows, Brown Recluses and others that are not so friendly. Conspicuously missing because they were inconspicuously hidden in dens far from my eyesight were the big hairy Wolf Spiders. Just thinking about them makes my skin feel all creepy and crawly. If I only saw a small percentage of the spiders who live here, then I must have 12,428 spiders in and around my house. Eek. With that thought in mind, I got busy with my handy-dandy duster with a handle and got rid of all the spider webs inside the house, too. All was right with the world, at least I thought so. But where do spiders go after their homes get destroyed? Think about it. They have to go somewhere, and although I certainly don’t claim to think like a spider, I believe they planned a little payback. After cleaning, I found spiders and their webs on my clothesline and in and around my wooden clothespins. Every time I reached for one, I felt the slight stickiness of the webs on my fingers. I don’t know how they managed to build the webs so quickly, but they did. The next web I found accidentally, and it was a large one, built across the back door to the chicken coop. I took a break from dusting and painting to let the chickens out for some free-ranging. As I opened the door I walked face first into it and found myself covered with web, along with few dead flies and moths. Eek. With that duster stuck in the back of my pants and a spider web stuck to my front, I began jumping around trying to GET IT OFF. Thinking back on the horror of it all, I probably looked like I was doing the Farm Woman version of the old dance called The Bunny Hop. Last night, before I climbed under the covers, I pulled them back quickly to make sure there were no hidden revengeful spiders lurking between the sheets. Call me crazy, but I know they are around here somewhere. All 12,427 of them. If you noticed that the number is down by one, it is because I accidentally stomped one during the Bunny Hop. Now it will rain on my wet paint for sure.

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