Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bee Dipper

Adam’s Mountain Café has grown from a quaint, eclectic restaurant in Manitou Springs, Colorado, to a more cosmopolitan, cultured enclave in the old Spa Building, on Manitou Avenue, the street where it first began.

During the 25 years I’ve dined there, the chefs have continued to create amazing dishes with a classy flair. Primarily known for exquisite vegetarian fare, they also serve tasty dead animals too. With nuts, cheeses, herbs, spices, and sauces, they transform ordinary into an extraordinary expression of flavors.

On a cool summer day, our friend treated my daughter and me to lunch. It felt so good to get out of the house and have someone wait on me. When the waiter brought our beverages, I inhaled the steam from my warm peppermint tea and began to thaw.

I drew the ceramic honey bowl closer to me and removed the notched cover, so I could drizzle some sweet stuff into my tea. As I lifted the little wooden honey dipper, I watched the viscous liquid slowly cascade back into the bowl.

When the dipper was almost drained of its honey, I leaned in to get a closer look. It appeared something was stuck to the wood.

After my eyes focused better, I giggled and said, “Look! Isn’t this a clever idea. This honey dipper has a bee as a decoration to keep the honey from falling so fast.”

My daughter looked into the bowl, then inquisitively at me, “It is a bee, Mom,” she said, “but it’s still a great idea.”

So the moral of the story is, look closely at food or drink before moving it past your lips, because recently, in the middle of the night when I drank my water, I swallowed a spider.

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Psychopaths, Spiders, and Hotrods

A reader called Hotrod responded to my “Internet Dating” story with some astute points that have made me reconsider my narrow viewpoint, so I encourage you to read his comment.

I would agree, psychopaths are everywhere, and there is no requirement for honesty, whether you meet someone in person or online. And I should know. I had a financially disingenuous guy in my life for a year. His deceitful behavior cause creditors to call my number and send collections notices to my mailbox continuously—after four years of my boot in his arse. It’s extremely disheartening to know that I could make such a poor choice, like if I shopped at Wal-mart.

Hotrod asked, “How is it that your hot tub has so many strangers happening by for you to meet?”

Thank you for asking. Here’s a story of only one stranger in my tub that I can recall. One eve I jumped into the hot tub for a little plumping. I slid into the lounge, closed my eyes, and meditated for a while, when I sensed something behind me. Slowly I turned around, and there, inspecting the color of my roots, was a sweet little gray jumping spider with furry legs.

I said hello with my eyes, six fewer than my new acquaintance’s, and he greeted me. Rather than acting frightened, he moved closer to the end of my big nose, which was still quite a distance from my eyes. His forward nature intrigued me, so I pulled my finger out of the water and moved it toward him. This made him jump back a few spider lengths.

He sensed I wasn’t a predator and was as curious as he, so we performed the meeting dance. Finally he indicated he had dinner to catch, made a right turn, and cascaded down the tub’s wall.

I was so fascinated by my little visitor that I went upstairs and learned about jumping spiders. Though their field of vision is narrow, it is incredibly sharp.

A characteristic I find most interesting is that they have an internal hydraulic system. They alter the pressure of their blood, which extends their limbs, and it enables them to jump 20 to 80 times their body length. Wherever the spider goes, it tethers a silk filament to whatever it is standing on, so if it falls, it can climb back up. [Taken from] Cool!

And these little creatures are stalkers. They use the features God gave them to hunt, see, pounce, and bite. So next time I meet my acquaintance, I may give him a wider berth, in case our meeting dance is really a meating dance.

Here’s another informational site:

Now I ask, with an epithet like Hotrod, would you find cool chicks at the racetrack? With a name like Eartha, I look up to the sky.

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009


In 1953 my friend was in the army’s basic training at Fort Ord in Monterey, California.

I’m pretty certain I could not live through the rigors of basic training, and in fact, some have not, due to the strenuous endurance training our men in the military must survive before moving to the next step.

For eight weeks back in ’53, sergeants drilled our future soldiers who withstood heat, exhausting exercises, mentally fatiguing drills, and obstacle courses only the fit can complete. Without preparation, these can be near-death experiences.

On a hot, humid day, a platoon of men had to do double time during an all-day, on-foot exercise with their gear that included rifles weighing just over 10 pounds. Their burden was beyond tolerable and enough to kill an overheated, dehydrated man.

Miles into this exercise and after walking at a slower pace, the sergeant shouted to the men to pick up their speed, and they began marching at double time again. Many detested this sergeant, a large, surly black man, whose only emotion seemed to be irritation.

A young private, a white man, was noticeably fatigued and appeared to be close to exhaustion. Seeing this, the muscled, temperamental sergeant moved toward him, grabbed the young soldier’s rifle, and carried it for him in addition to his own, then ran by the private’s side for the rest of the exercise.

Such inspiration the sergeant’s action aroused, that all the soldiers had renewed energy and purpose and successfully completed their mission.

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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