Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Because Ticks and Mosquitoes Aren't Enough

Here's the latest insect plague to come to my attention. Chiggers, anyone?  They sound delightful.  And this article was particularly descriptive:

During a chigger bite, the chigger’s mouth parts inject saliva into the skin that contains a digestive enzyme which causes skin cells to rupture and turn to liquid.  The skin is partially digested even before it enters the chigger’s body.  The chigger then drinks the dissolved, digested skin tissue.

Dissolved, digested skin tissue?  Nice.  Oh, and I love the advice for avoiding this creature:

Wear tall boots, three pairs of socks, and long pants.  Tuck the bottom of the pants under the top layer of socks and spray the pants, socks, and boots with Deet

You know, I do try to maintain some sort of fashion sense, even as I am heading into my 50's and beyond.  And somehow, I don't think the above sartorial recommendations fill the bill.  Not to mention that wearing 3 pairs of socks and long pants in 80-something-degree weather is likely to land you in the ER with heatstroke...

Maybe I should just stop reading stuff.  That could help.  Literacy is vastly over-rated, anyway.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Alone Again, Naturally...

Our school year schedule is in full swing now, but we are still busy adjusting to the rigors of making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time.  This was the first week of CCD, which - as it occurs on Monday nights - has almost pushed our mad logistical abilities over the edge.  Let's see...the girls to the church at 6:45, Brian to Boy Scouts (different church) at 7:30, girls picked up from CCD at 8:00, Boy Scouts done at 9, and oh yes, there is still David to be picked up from our local community college at 9:20.  Lord help us when it happens to be a Bunko night, too.

Still, where there is a will, there's a way, which meant that Larry and I found ourselves, at 7:15 this evening, ALL ALONE IN OUR OWN HOUSE (Brian had walked to Boy Scouts).  I said to him, "When is the last time this happened?"  And he, after a moment's thought, said, "Never."

Never. Never, in almost 24 years.

We both let that sink in for a moment. We could do that, because there was no one around to interrupt us.  Finally, I said, "This feels weird. Are you sure no one else is here?"

I watched as Larry thought again.  "No, no one."

"So!" I said. "This is what it will feel like when we're old, I guess."

Another pause, as we let that sink in, too.

"It's sort of peaceful," Larry said. ""

You know, he was right.  But it still felt weird.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

No Avoiding Destiny

Theo stopped by for a day on his way back from 2 weeks of leave, weeks that he chose to spend touring the more popular spots in Jordan and Israel - you know, Petra, Wadi Rum, Eilat, the Dead Sea, Masada, Jerusalem.

Excuse me for a minute while I kvell over my eldest's excellent taste in vacation options.  I mean, really - he's 23.  Shouldn't he be lolling on a beach or getting drunk in a pub somewhere?

So he had a one-day layover here and he brought everyone souvenirs from the Middle East.  Those are in addition to the ones he had already brought back from his 2 trips to Morocco and the one trip to Tunisia (yes, Theo IS well-traveled and I AM jealous).  What with all this globe-trotting of his, I now have a fine collection of miniature camels, in leather and metal and wood. Camels standing, camels kneeling, camels that double as earring holders.

More camels
And there, my friends, is the rub.  I have observed over the past few decades that people who are drawn to collecting a certain animal (or representations thereof) tend to, well, resemble that animal. A lot.  Think about it - it's a simple corollary of the "dogs look like their owners" theorem, really.  And now that we have Facebook, with people posting pictures of their favorite animals ALL THE TIME? I have amassed mounting evidence to support my theory.

So! Camels.  I love my son and I adore that he thinks to bring me presents, but - quite frankly - I am starting to worry.  Is it only a matter of time until I start to resemble these creatures that are taking over my home?  I mean, have I ever mentioned that I have a slight overbite?  And fairly long eyelashes?

EVERYBODY gets a camel!

Is it fate?

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Playing At Being An Extrovert

I stepped out of my comfort zone AGAIN yesterday evening by going to a book signing/meet the author event at a bookstore not too ridiculously far away from my home.  It involved driving in rush hour to an unfamiliar place; and finding parking in a parking garage (I hates parking garages); and then sitting next to lots of people I don't know and trying to look as though I DO have friends, just none of them could make it out this evening.

I explained to Larry that I wanted to go because the featured author was a local blogger I follow, and he asked, "What does she sign?"

And I said, "What?" because, seriously, we've been married 24 years and I swear we do not ever speak the same language.  Misunderstandings R Us.

And he said, "What does she sign? An IPad?"

And I said, "What?" again, because - apparently - that's how we roll.

And Larry said, "You said it was a Meet-the-Author thing and she is a blogger. So WHAT does she sign?"

And finally a light bulb went on over my head and I said, "Oh, no, she wrote an actual BOOK."

No wonder the kids hate listening to us.  And it's only going to get worse as we get older.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, so I went to hear Anna from An Inch of Gray talk about her book Rare Bird -and, uh, no, I haven't read it yet, because the publisher insisted on issuing it in hardcover and I really hate reading hardcover books - anyone else find them not comfy enough?  Kindle just won't cut it either, because I know I'll want to share it with you all, so I am waiting for the paperback version.

Anyway, when Anna asked if anyone had read the book yet, the only 4-year-old in the audience piped up with "I read it!" which of course brought down the house.  I figured, hey, a 4-year-old can come to book signings and speak up, why can't I?  So, later, I stepped even further out of my comfort zone by asking a question during the Q&A.

I know! It's as if I were turning into an extrovert or something.

Incidentally, the only other book signings I have been to have been for the Yarn Harlot, and half the people in the crowd are knitting as she talks.  So I didn't think twice about sitting in the second row and working on the pair of socks I had just cast on at home.  Not until I left did I wonder whether that was a faux pas.  Thoughts?

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hug Your Loved Ones Day

May God grant peace to those who suffered loss 13 years ago today.

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