Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The First Day of Spring

Okay, I know this is not actually the first day of spring. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to post that day so I'm writing about it now. The first day of spring here was lovely. The sun was shining, the temperature was just right. So I thought it was only appropriate to take down the snowflake garland over the fireplace and transform the winter wreath into a spring one.

For nearly five years now I have used the same grapevine wreath over and over again, season after season. I try to use things that simply need to be sandwiched between the vines but if something needs to be glued I use a hot glue gun and usually the glue will pop off with a little coaxing when I'm ready to change things up again.

So on Saturday morning my front door went from this:

to this:

For a late morning breakfast I enjoyed some yogurt with homemade blueberry vanilla granola.

Blueberry Vanilla Granola
(Note: Recipe adapted from Food Network)

3 c. oats
1 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 c. dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 250. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, salt and brown sugar. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, combine maple syrup, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Pour over oats mixture and mix well. Spread out granola onto two cookie sheets. Cook for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes until lightly browned on all sides. Allow to cool, then add blueberries. Store in an airtight container.
In other news, it seems that my spring cleaning opened a can of worms. . . um, no wait, not worms - spiders! (Warning: If you're arachnophobic ( or my husband), you may want to stop reading now).

It seems that this:

drove these right out of their hiding places:

Here's the scary part. I've killed eleven of these big guys in our house since I started my cleaning last Thursday. Eleven. I feel like our home has been transformed into a movie set for Arachnophobia.

I've learned over the past few days though, that trying to do something like identify a spider on your own over the internet is like typing your symptoms into Web MD, you're sure to end up thinking you have something way worse than you actually do. I was starting to become convinced that we infested with some kind of a poisonous hobo spider (these guys are frighteningly huge). I submitted the above photo to allexperts.com and as it turns out the spider was identified as a hacklemesh weaver, harmless to humans but apparently they can still have a nasty bite.

Needless to say my spring cleaning list just got longer. Short of using harsh chemicals, my remedy so far has been to wash down all the baseboards with the lavender oil (I read that this may repel spiders) and place "sticky pads" in strategic locations around the house. I don't really want to used chemicals but I also don't want these things taking over my house. We'll see. . .


  1. Oh my gosh! My boyfriend has a fear of spiders too, but even I would freak out if I found that thing in my house! It's so big and scary! And you said you found 11? I think I'd have to move out until someone got rid of them.

    Aside from that, your granola looks delicious and your wreaths are so cute!

  2. Yikes! I'm a little bit scared of spiders myself.

    I like the sound of that granola--vanilla and blueberries--great combination! Love the spring wreath too. Happy spring indeed!