There’s an Earwig in my Swimsuit

I think I’ll try to grow my hair long and lustrous.  Right now, it’s short and scraggly and is the shortest hair in the family.

The boys’ hair is long and lustrous.  Well, it’s long anyway.  It’s more scraggly than lustrous.  I’m not sure what’s up with Boy7, but every morning he wakes up with a Gordian knot on the back of his head and we have to use detangler to brush it out.  This is shameful for the boy, because the detangler comes in a pink bottle.  Pink = bad.

As much as they can’t stand pink and girly things, you’d think they wouldn’t want long hair.  But they’re unsocialized homeschoolers and they haven’t figured out that boys aren’t supposed to have long hair.

If I forced the issue, we could cut Boy7’s hair and he would look great, but I have to admit that Boy9 looks goofy with short hair.  One year, I buzz cut their hair in the spring.  Boy9 went first and he looked like a holocaust victim when I was through.  I lied and said, “It looks good…” but Boy7 took one look at Boy9 and burst into delighted laughter.  Boy9 burst into undelighted tears and ran from the room.  That was 2 years ago, and Boy9 hasn’t let me near his head since.

I wish hair could grow long overnight, like in the movie Stardust* where the pirate cuts the main guy’s hair and it gets longer as he cuts it.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give for magic like that!

Then again, I guess I wouldn’t give much, because on this side of the wall we call that sort of magic, “hair extensions” and I’m not about to pay for them.  Guess I’ll just have to grow my own hair.

Like homegrown tomatoes. Homegrown tomatoes are a thing of wonder.  I could grow some tomatoes.  The only problem is that gardening makes you sweaty and dirty and a bug always jumps on you.  Especially around here.

Last summer I dried some clothes on the clothes line outside.  I forgot about the clothes overnight so the next morning I went to bring them in.  They were covered in bugs.  Covered!  After the 5th bug, I couldn’t contain myself anymore and allowed the bottled up shriek to come rushing out, and asked Brave Darling Husband to bring in the rest of the clothes, after he inspected each piece.

And the year before that, I put our wet bathing suits on the back porch to dry.  Later, I picked up my suit, and there, stuck in the netting on the inside of the suit was a pincher bug.  A pincher bug!  You know: those bugs with the pincher things on them?  Sometimes they’re called earwigs, just to completely freak people out.  Earwigs?  How did they earn that name?  And what if I hadn’t found the bug and put on the bathing suit and then got pinched by earwigs?!  

Maybe I could pay someone else to grow tomatoes while I stay inside and write stories.  I could pay $20 as a gardener fee.  I’d buy the plants and any other supplies.  They’d have to grow them on their own property and water them and I could come by and pick them off whenever I want them.  Any takers?

Oh hey!  I guess I can talk about this today, since it happened at about 12:15 this morning.  There I was, getting ready for bed in the small bathroom, when what should I see clinging to the ceiling but another million legger.

Thankfully Brave Darling Husband was at home, so I hollered for him to come and rescue me.  We have an unspoken agreement that if it’s any other kind of bug, I deal with it on my own if Darling Husband is already in bed.  But not million leggers.  I turn into a blubbering wimpy girly-girl around million leggers and require his manly help.  With great patience, he dragged himself out of bed, caught the bug and only once pretended to trip on the hall carpet and lunge at me with the bug cup.

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The picture of the day is of Soup Day.  Every two weeks I get together with a group of friends for lunch.  We eat soup.

Soup Day

What I like about this picture is that Kris is looking at the camera, but you can see other people in the background.  In the kitchen someone’s getting a haircut, and in the mirror, someone is watching Kris get her picture taken.

Oh, and note the pretty flowers on the table.  B is getting her nurse practitioner’s degree while holding down a job and raising four kids.  In a show of support, her Darling Husband sent her the flowers at work.  It was a lovely gesture, but we were thinking that having a new pair of shoes sent to you at work might be even better.

B’s Darling Husband asked her what she wanted as a graduation gift and she sighed and said, “A new furnace.”  No, not really, but if you’ve seen A Christmas Story and remember the scene where the Dad wishes for a new furnace, then you’ll understand B’s tone when she said, “Blue paint on the dining room walls, and new dishes to match.”  Her Darling Husband said he was hoping to give her something more personal, but I say, “B’s Darling Husband, you get her that blue paint!”

Because that red paint makes the room too dark for good picture taking.

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*Stardust is one of my favorite movies.  Maybe even a top 10-er.

A Nightmare Comes True: An Intruder In the House!

The day started calmly enough.  The alarm went off at 8:00.  I lazed in bed until 8:30.  At 8:40 I checked to see how many people had read my blog.  All three of you!  Thanks for reading.

Headed to the bathroom.  Was sitting there, quietly minding my own…er…business, when suddenly!  out of the blue!  my biggest fear came true!

An intruder in the house!

He was huge and hairy with blood red eyes and sharp fangs and a million legs!  He heaved himself under the door of the bathroom and started hurtling across the floor.

Some people are afraid of heights.  Others are afraid of snakes.  Or flying.

Me?

I’m afraid of Million Leggers.  Here’s a close up I managed to get as he ran across the floor:

It’s completely irrational.

I don’t overreact with any other bug.  I mean, I don’t like it when a bug is in the house, but I can manage to (mostly) calmly catch the bug in a cup and take it outside where it can be rehabilitated.  In fact, I caught three stinkbugs in the boys’ bedroom today and all you heard me say was a gentle, ““Hey there, little buggy!  Out ya go!”

But not with Million Leggers.  When I catch sight of one of those monsters, all rationality flies out the window and the screaming begins.

And there I was, helpless, on the can, when it came heaving under the door of the bathroom and hurtling across the floor.

And the bathroom is very very small.  I have always loved that little bathroom because the ceramic heater heats it up in about 10 minutes and all winter long I stand in the bathroom by the heater reading books and thawing out.  But when you’re in a very small little bathroom, with a Million Legger the size of beagle, you start to resent little bathrooms.

Million Leggers like to crouch in dark corners.  Like young toughs hanging out in dark alleyways.

This Million Legger took off for the darkest corner he could find in the bathroom, which just so happened to be the corner with my shoes!

Thank goodness they were boots, or he would have flung himself over the sides and curled up in a scary little ball in the toes of the shoes and I’d have had to throw them away.

As you can see from the picture, I was close enough to lean over and rescue the boots, while letting out big whooping shrieks.

He didn’t like his hiding pace being moved, so he took off again.  And now the screaming started in earnest, because, as you can see, he was running right past my feet!

The boys asked later, “Why didn’t you step on him as he went by?” and Darling Husband said, “Because if she did, he would have reached up, grabbed her by the foot and flipped her over.”  Dead right!

He ignored my feet and went for the next darkest corner, and then he started climbing the wall!  So that he’d be closer to my jugular.

At this point, the children noticed their mother shrieking like a crazed loon in the bathroom and came running, calling through the door,  “What’s wrong?!”

“Million Legger!”

They were deliciously disgusted.  I called out, “Get me the bug cup! And make it a big one!”

Boy9 said, “I’m right on it!” and I could hear him thundering away to the kitchen to get one of the plastic cup we use to catch bugs.

While he was getting the cup, I managed to sort myself out without taking my eyes off the bug, so that by the time Boy9 got back with the cup, I was prepared to slam the cup over the bug.

But I missed!  And he went skittering across the floor, past the toilet!  I went dancing from the room as if outlaws were shooting at my feet.

He went under the vanity!

Whereupon, he disappeared!

How?!  How did he disappear?  I was staring right at him.  My Holmes deduction was that Million Leggers really are little aliens and he’d transported back to the mother ship.

I got a flashlight and looked to see if he was stuck to the underside of the vanity.  No….

I waited a moment, and the peeked back into the bathroom, and slowly started to enter, when…

THERE!  There he was, on the wall by the ceramic heater cord!

The shrieking began anew and the boys were jumping about in excitement.  This was bad news, that he was on the wall.  Usually for Million Leggers, I manage to cup them on the floor, and then I leave them under the cup until Darling Husband is available to bravely handle the Million Legger for me.

Without further consideration of what I’d do with the bug once the cup was on him, I covered him with the cup.

Now what?  With other bugs I would slip a piece of paper under the cup and then take the bug out, but that’s a tricky move.  If you don’t do it just right, and the paper’s too flimsy, the cup might lift up a smidge, and the bug can make a desperate dash through the opening.  And Million Leggers are fast.  If he got out of the cup, it would be only one leap onto my arm and then I’d simply die.  There would be no other option.  Instant death.

Holding the cup firmly, I told the boys, “Quick!  Get me four pieces of paper!” The boys were so overwhelmed with glee at the shrieking and the hunting and catching of the bug, that they started running in opposite directions and bumped into each other.  I was worried that the Million Legger would gnaw a hole in the cup while the boys were looking for paper, but eventually they got me the paper.  I folded the four sheets in half with my free hand and slipped it under the cup.

The next tricky part is getting the paper from the wall without making an opening for the bug to shoot out of.

Fortunately, it wasn’t my day to die, and I got the cup away from the wall.

“Boys!  Open the door!”  Again they ran about in circles for a bit, but the door was finally opened.  There was no way I was going to be anywhere near the cup when the angry bug came out of it, so with another blood curdling shriek, I threw the cup into the yard as far as it would go, paper and all, and slammed the door shut.

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Later in the day, I was putting a few toys away in the attic.  I reached for this car.

And felt something drop onto my hand!  A Million Legger!

No, no…just a stinkbug.  I’m not afraid of stinkbugs.

No, wait!  Yes I am!  When they’re on my hand, yes I am afraid of stinkbugs.  I shrieked, flung the bug across the room, and he waddled off into a crack in the attic floor.

Boy7 called up the stairs, “You ok?!”  “Yes.  I just picked up a stink bug by accident.  Everything’s ok.”

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Here are some pictures of dandelions in a field.

Sun glare-in the dark area at the top. Hard to see when the picture is small.

This was my first picture and there was that sun spot/glare thing going on.  An idea popped into my head: is my UV filter making the glare?  Took off the filter and the glare went away.  Who knew?

No sun glare

Here are a couple more pictures of the field.   They’re soothing after those terrifying bug pictures.