Tag Archives: giant spiders

Getting Away from It All…..

Jack’s guest blog covers the dark side of nature…..

Wendy and I have a log cabin about two hours away that is very isolated, with no telephone, TV, internet or cell phone reception. It’s normally very restful and relaxing to hide away there for a few days. Wendy can get writing done there without distractions. The dogs love it because they can go off and wander to their hearts’ delight and there’s a pond for them to swim in.

And me? I can deal with the repairs and maintenance that are always needed there in our holiday dream home…..

But this time it was hot and thundery – VERY hot and thundery! With no breeze and no air conditioning I found myself becoming more and more lethargic. The dogs hardly moved except to dive into the pond and the only one to expend any energy was our ‘special’ kittie Hadley, who we’d taken as well as a treat.

Despite all that languid pressing heat, I still managed to deal with wasps’ nests, wood-boring bees, a ginormous wolf spider clinging to (Wendy says “carrying off”) a Mason jar in the sink, and get some weed-whacking done. Wendy got writing aplenty done and the dogs got so smelly in the pond they needed a bath this morning when we returned home. So all in all it was a success–at least for everyone but the spider.

Sometimes it’s good to get away. And sometimes, it’s better to get back to air conditioning – – –


Leave a comment

Filed under animal rescue, between books, Big Stone Gap, blue funks, bookstore management, crafting, folklore and ethnography, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch, writing


chestnutsIf you ate in the Second Story Cafe at Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Books between March 22 and March 27, we urge you to get in touch with us right away. A support group is forming.

Of course our good Chef Kelley tries to source local foods and suppliers whenever possible, so gets her beef from Bob’s market. She also buys gourmet items from Appalachian Hometown Grocery.

Many of you will remember that Kelley made a lovely steak and mushroom pie last week, and discerning foodies may have realized that the pastry crust contained chestnut paste (the secret ingredient). Appalachian Grocery’s stock is culled from various specialty markets; the chestnuts came from Bolivia.

We don’t know how many of you are keeping up with the latest news from there, but yes, the giant spiders you keep seeing in that Facebook picture do exist, and it’s true that Bolivian Wolf Spiders live to be about 150. The BWSes spin their webs among chestnut trees, so the chestnuts get covered in … well, they peed on the chestnuts. And the chestnuts absorbed the nutrients.

Although this might sound distasteful, let’s keep in mind how watermelons and mushrooms reach their ultimate flavor, and not rush to judgment of other cultures’ agricultural practices.

We all know that chestnuts are an excellent source of riboflavin (vitamin B-2) but riboflavin is one of those enhancing vitamins, upping the potency of other nutrients. When the Bolivian government realized what was happening, they ripped the groves up. They weren’t going to just let all that vegetation rot, so they shipped it to the States for cattle fodder. That’s how the cows earmarked for Asheville ate the bark and leaves, and Bob gets his beef from Asheville, so through that odd combination of fate we so often encounter in this life, if you ate the featured casserole last week, you got a double dose of contaminated Bolivian chestnuts. Which means you’re immortal.

So we’re forming a support group and would like to invite everyone who had the steak and mushroom pie between March 22 and March 27 to attend. If you had the chicken fiesta soup, you’re fine, and not to worry about the cowboy beans; that hamburger was on sale at Food City.

Jack and I will see you at 6 pm on April 1–and for a long time after that. We each had two servings. Kelley’s pies are just so tasty.


Filed under bad writing, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, post-apocalypse fiction, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA