The moment we arrived at our rental home in Farmersville, TX, our neighbors were there to greet us with a smile, some squash, and a tractor!  Life in the country of Texas is a little bit different than New England 🙂

Now, there was no way for us to move in “discretely” since we pulled up with our bus, big red van, trailer of goats, dogs and a moving truck.  We TOTALLY stood out!  Mr. Allen & Mr. Poplin were there before we blinked with loads of fresh veggies from their gardens and an offer to plow the paddock and reseed it for us with their equipment so “you can feed your animals something better than weeds” he said.  So we bought a 4 part seed blend, recommended by them, and off they went.  The kids had a blast learning about disk harrows, tines, tillers, and seed drills.  And….. Texas mud.  In the east of Dallas, where our rental home was, they had black clay.  From a distance it looked like dark rich soil…..not so much.  That stuff is like glue!  Heavy duty, God-made, cement that sticks to your boots and EVERYTHING else!

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In addition to the farmers welcome crew, we had a bunch of fine furry (and not so furry) friends greet us.  First to arive on the scene was the argiope spider. That thing is HUMONGOUS!!!!!!! We jumped back at its sight, perched by our front door greeting us.  I, Jill, contemplated for a moment to place my hand by the spider for size comparison, but I chickened out.  Hey- what if it was poisonous?  It was for the safety of the whole family (wink, wink).  About a week later, we opened up our home schooling box to find our next Wisdom Book, and who was on the cover… The Argiope Spider!!!!.  The subtitle of the WB, “Self Control” and “Lust- is a deadly trap”.  Don’t you just love when God gives you such great “life classrooms”, He always does, we just have to keep our eyes open!

hmmmmmmm now we HAD to figure out this new neighbor- friend or foe?

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Friend.  Commonly know in Texas as the Garden Spider, Mr Poplin promptly told us “Don’t smoosh it! That thing eats all the bad bugs!”.  Then he made a comment about us being city folk afraid of spiders to which we explained that bugs DIE in New England with the snow and are MUCH MUCH smaller than these Texas size bugs.  He didn’t buy it.

We learned that the Argiope Spider has one of the strongest and thickest webs.  Catching massive grasshoppers, secadas, moths and more.  It creates a large zipper in it’s web that reflects moon light and early morning sun!!!  The light draws the moths in and BLAM they are stuck and it shoots (Texas draw style) some massive amounts of silk in a flat spray to hold that bug down.  In the day time the bright yellow pattern on the bug draws in all other creatures who think they are finding pollen or something else yummy.  AMAZING.   They lay 2000 eggs in the fall.  Hatch in the spring.  So if you find one in your garden or barn, keep it safe, it’s a great neighbor to have!  Also, if you have children, they are great entertainment.  My boys kept catching grasshoppers and throwing them into the webs just to watch that thing in action….ha! and people waste their money on TVs.  This spider was free and VERY cool!

 

Next on the list of neighbors was our fine furry dog friend, Bear, from next door.  Bear lived on a farm with lots and lots of creatures.  Somehow, our chaos seemed more appealing to him!  He was a family favorite.  They kids all miss him once we moved into our permanent home north of the city.

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Though our time in our rental home was short lived, we made some great friends that we wouldn’t know today if we hadn’t have moved there.  We met our new church family (full of adoptive families), we met friends at the Farmers Market (whose eldest daughter now tutors our Jamie in reading) and so much more!

A short while later, we moved again!  This created a lot of work and boxing and long, long days, BUT now we got to meet more neighbors!  Ahhh now THAT’s twice as nice! 🙂