Thursday, July 7, 2011


The key word this summer is CHEAP! With 7 people and one toilet . . . . well, every extra dollar is going to saving for a house. We have made some drastic changes in the last few months from cutting off our cable and cutting back on our spending. My credit card expenditures have been cut in half. I am really proud of the changes we have made.

Saving money means staying home all summer. We have canceled all of our summer vacations, opted out of summer camp and summer lessons. I have been on the hunt for free or cheap outings and I am getting together with other moms to keep the kids cheaply entertained. The library has made that really easy this summer. They have a series of programs from chess club, to board games, a summer reading program and weekly shows. This week Mr. Valentine's Nature Show came to the library. I was a bit apprehensive, but with temps near 95* and a few hours to kill we all loaded into the car and were prepared to be entertained.

Mr. Valentine started off with gusto. "Ignore everything your parents ever told you about animals. They were wrong." Followed by "don't ever be afraid of animals, you can not like them, but don't be afraid of them.". Then when he said that each child was going to get an animal and a chance to walk it around the room . . . well, that just seemed to be foolish and cruel to the animals.

Sure enough, Mrs. Valentine let the wallaby out of the cage and it began hopping around the room, unharnessed. Everyone was instructed to be still and ignore it and it would be just fine. Then a 7 year old girl held a cracker in her mouth while the wallaby took it out with his own lips. Weird. Then Mr. Valentine started handing out lizards in every color, blue, yellow, green, . . . Children were instructed on proper handling and then carried them around the room so everyone could pet the animal. And on it went with frogs, big and small, insects, tarantulas, and snakes. He even let a ginormous lizard (not sure of the kind) wander around the room. The lizard was about 5 feet long and just ambled around.

It was a fantastic show once you got over Mr. Valentines gruff exterior. He really knew what he was talking about. None of the animals were harmed and all of the children (and adults) got a little braver. I even held the tarantula for a bit. Something I thought I would never do.

But this morning poor Connor-man woke up with a rash. I have been racking my brain to figure out what could have caused it. Then I remembered what all the other nature shows said, "we won't be letting you touch the tarantulas because some people are allergic to the oils in its hairs. You won't know if you are that person until you break out in a rash." Out of 6 of us in the family apparently Connor is the only one allergic to tarantulas.

So this post serves to validate all the people Connor may meet in his lifetime. No, Connor is not scared of tarantulas. He was very brave as he held a tarantula, lizard and other creepy crawlies. But today he has been miserable with a red itchy rash. So I don't believe he will ever be holding a tarantula again.

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