Saturday, April 24, 2010

Buckets of Snails and Spinach, Yards Full of Cats

Yesterday I was asked THE QUESTION by the lady who takes care of Pierre's cousin's grandmother, who occupies the apartment below us. Just to let you know how the most random people can take an interest in your child's education. She had heard that we homeschool and wanted to know if that was the reason they never heard any noise from our part of the house in the morning. "That's when they must be in class." Too funny! No, it's because they are all sleeping, jet lag will do that to a person.

She went on to observe the three youngest who were chasing cats around the yard, bringing me specimens of new flowers and strange plants and then finally their secret stash of snails in a bucket. She commented; "wow, they are studying lots of things; botany, zoology, that's great. Amen.

It is a little like living in a zoo right here in our new neighborhood. The wildlife is not the same at all. Nary a squirrel or rabbit, but there are snails galore, now that the weather has turned rainy. There are also cats; imagine, cats free to run around outside, like a normal cat! The kids are loving it.

We were having dinner the other night with my sister-in-law and her family. Everyone under 20 eventually got bored and headed outside to play. When I was on my way to the kitchen I saw Aragorn coming out with something green. I did not pay much attention until Lily, looking a little sneaky, closed the refrigerator with a handful of another something green a few minutes later.

"Where are you going with that spinach!?" She pulled something out of her pocket, "look at my snail, isn't he great?" She decided she would keep it as a pet, so she had to feed it. What I did not know until the next day was that they had found MANY snails and they were keeping them in a big blue bucket outside. Along with half of my lettuce and spinach. Ah well, the snails are the ones having a feast instead of being feasted upon, for once. And it is kind of cool, they have the most beautiful shells when you take a minute to observe them (impartially). When I lived here years ago I saw them from another perspective; they were the nasty little beasties that made slime marks on my windows whenever it rained. Through the fascinated eyes of my children, these are slimy, yes, but slightly exotic creatures that inhabit their new world.

Good thing they haven't seen the spiders yet.


  1. Children are great when they play with Mother natures creatures, even the ones that are not so attractive. cheers Marie

  2. The spiders are here! Woke up with one on my cpap mask this morning. It waved a leg at me and I swung to knock it off and hit the loft step instead. I think I would have rather had a snail. A well, I'm sure there will be more spider jumping out of moving boxes that have been in storage 2 months.

    Glad you all are having a wonderful adventure!!!

  3. How big are these snails? Can you eat them?

  4. Aren't they great, though? You're right, Marie. I have gotten over my "don't get messy" attitude, all the way to the other extreme. A day without someone covered in mud is not a day well-spent.

  5. Oh, I'm sorry, Cris! Just imagine the size of ones who never die, who hide out in your house winter after winter, thickening their legs, growing their bodies...they're really big here!

  6. Too funny! Yes, you can eat the snails. That's what their great-grandmother wanted to know too. I told her they may have a hard time eating their pets, much less ones so slimy.

    With a little garlic, butter and parsley, I would have no trouble at all!


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