CREEPY CRAWLY

26 01 2012

I read just yesterday where someone somewhere said there was no reason for that creepy, crawly feeling that some people experience.  Don’t have any idea what they were talking about. But evidently some test had been done and had thrown out the idea that creepy, crawly was real.  Well, I beg to differ on that one.

I’ll have to tell you what happened to me and those creepy crawly things.   A few years ago, I started just itching like mad, particularly on my legs.  In fact, it seemed that something was just determined to eat me up, a bit at a time.  And I kept seeing things like they were flying in the air and yet I could not really see anything. And occasionally, it would seem like something black ran across a white tile cabinet.  But again, there was nothing there.  I was about to decide that I had finally lost it all.  About ready to go to the looney bin.

Then, the bug man came for a quarterly spray of my house and I mentioned to him that it seemed like something was after me.  He said, just as casually, that if I could catch one of those things, he would take it to the state laboratory and find out what it was.  By this time, it seemed like something was in my hair and even my eyebrows, but again, I really couldn’t see anything and just had this creepy, crawly feeling.

I took a roll of scotch tape into my bathroom just in case something went whizzing across my white tile cabinet ever again.  Sure enough, a couple of days later, I saw what seemed like something racing across the cabinet and I slapped it really hard with that scotch tape.  And behold, I had caught a thing whatever it was.  I called the bug man and he came right out and got the sample.

A couple of days later, he called me and said I had a spring tail mite in my house and that was what was biting me.   But, he said, the laboratory technician told him that these spring tail mites absolutely do not bite humans.  By this time, I could have shown that technician my half eaten red legs, but didn’t bother to  mention it.  The bug man went on with his explanation.  These tiny, tiny black bugs look like a grain of black pepper.  They are so small that they really cannot be seen.  And they are a part of the environment.  They eat rotted wood and vegetation.  They are in the mulch in my flower beds.

He even mentioned that I probably had about a million in the flower bed right outside my garage door.  These spring tail mites use their tail to crawl, hop like a flea, and fly.  So that was why I had seen those mysterious figures in the air and yet could not swear that I was seeing anything.  They can also get in  my hair and  eyebrows as well as everywhere in my home.  He came back and sprayed the house really good once again.  For the first time in awhile, I felt some peace that evening.  At least I wasn’t itching quite as much.

That week, I had all the mulch removed from around my house.  When the men pulled the mulch out of the beds around my front door, they called to me.  I ran outside to see  a fog of bugs rising up from those flower beds.  That was those lovely creep, crawly things. My flower beds may not look as pretty without mulch,  but I am happy with them.  I still get bit occasionally when I go outside, but it is nothing like it was.  I keep bug spray in the house and use it regularly as well as having the quarterly spray done.  And I put pest control granules in the flower beds.   The bug man had told me it would take years to get rid of all of them.  I believe him.

Next time I went to my regular doctor, I mentioned all this to him.   He listened politely and then said that maybe I wasn’t human after all.  Maybe I was a humanoid.  We laughed about that.  But the whole experience really wasn’t very funny and I hope I never have to live through that one again.

Maybe those in the know about creepy crawly feelings might reconsider.  If they want, I can send them some spring tail mites.  I’m sure I can find a few in my flower beds.

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LAUGH! LAUGH! LAUGH!

22 01 2012

When raising a house full of kids, you soon learn that you have a choice.  You can either laugh about things or you can go crazy.  And the choice is strictly up to you.  I choose to Laugh and Laugh and Laugh some more.  No wonder I’m half crazy. But it is o.k.   I don’t care if people talk about me.  Everything is o.k. every single day.

Just this week, I was missing a bath mat from a bathroom.  Could not find it anywhere.  Now, how does anyone lose a bath mat.  I asked all the children and all the children denied knowing anything at all about that stupid bath mat.  So, after looking through all the house, up and down and around, I finally gave up.  Decided the bath mat had just finally had enough and walked away.

I kept mentioning it now and then though and finally one of the children said, ‘Stop talking about the bath mat, Mom.’  This told me she probably had something to do with its disappearance.  I finally asked her if she threw it away.  She said, ‘Yes, I did.  It was about worn out.’  The garbage truck had just come yesterday, so I knew the bath mat had gone to that never, never land of the city dump.  Oh well, guess I would have to replace it when I get around to doing so.

But then, I remembered the rule of the lost items and it is that they almost always reappear when you least expect them.

That brought to mind when I lost a baby shoe many years ago.  And on the doctor appointment week, too. Could not take that poor baby out in the cold without a shoe, so tore up the house looking for the shoe.  Everyone helped but we never could find that shoe.  Had to buy another pair in order to take the baby to the doctor.  I could not afford it at the time but had no choice.  Then a week later, the shoe showed up in the toy box in the kid’s bedroom.  Now, we had torn that room apart and certainly had looked in that toy box a dozen times.  But, as I said, lost items almost always reappear when you least expect them.

And then there was the time my son lost his Sunday shoe on Saturday.  He was walking home from the local swimming pool and made it home with only one shoe.  Now, tomorrow was Sunday and he had to have that shoe to wear to church.  People might frown on a boy with only one shoe.  So, after discerning that he was carrying it home from the pool because he had left his tennis shoes in the pool area the day before and had worn the Sunday shoe to the pool and was carrying it home, then we set out to find it.  Sure enough after driving slowly along the area where he had been walking, he remembered dropping his items in a pile of leaves while he tied his now- on-  his -foot tennis shoe. Then he fished around in the nearby pile of leaves and sure enough, there was his Sunday shoe. See, like I said, those lost items always manage to show up when and where you least expect them.

So, I have learned to laugh and laugh and laugh some more at incidents like this one.

And sure enough, just yesterday, that bath mat was right there in the pile of dirty clothes.  Now, no one knows where it came from nor how it got there.  But, that bath mat knows.  It is a shame it cannot talk and tell us where it had been.  Such is life.  Laugh about it.  Why not.  Laugh or go crazy.

 





ORANGE JUICE

15 01 2012

I heard that some imported orange juice had strange ingredients floating around in it and people were advised not to drink it.  In the first place, why would it have anything dangerous in it.  If it was made in America, it would be clean and healthful I am sure.

But instead, the news reported that at least 60% of our orange juice which is consumed in this country is from Brazil.  Now, someone needs to explain why orange juice of all things should be imported from Brazil.  Surely, there are enough oranges being grown in this country to provide for the healthy breakfasts of people in the good old U.S.A.  If not, why not.  It used to be.

Could it be the cost of the products here that make importing the orange juice better for all of us?  Could it be the added government regulations that cause the price to be so high here that it is more cost friendly to import it all the way from Brazil.  Or could it be simply that the labor costs are too high?  Wonder why.  Someone needs to have a congressional committee investigate this one for sure.  And then perhaps a year from now, we will read a tiny notice in the newspaper that says it is because of the cost of producing orange juice in the United States due to labor costs, government regulations and other mandated costs that it is more feasible to import orange juice from Brazil.  Then I will know for sure.

This is truly ridiculous.  Maybe it would help a lot if we all just read the labels and only bought what was made in the U.S  Think I have heard that one before, but it really would work if everyone just took the time to do this.  I am sure that somewhere in your town and mine it is possible to buy orange juice that has been produced in the U.S    Certainly not imported all the way from Brazil. No wonder it has strange particles in it.





HUNGRY CHILDREN

19 02 2011

There was an article in my local paper the other day that told of a group of teachers who provide backpacks for hungry children to take home on the weekend.  These backpacks contain enough food to keep the child fed while at home and not receiving the free breakfast, lunch and snacks from the local school.  In another district, a group not only provides these backpacks for the children, but also enough food for their siblings at home.

My question is – why aren’t the parents feeding their own children.  I fed mine.  I’ll bet you fed yours.  Sometimes it wasn’t all that great, but they were fed and full when they left the table after each meal.  All species feed their young.   Why is it suddenly alright for today’s parents not to feed their young.  Is this the Great Society that Lyndon Johnson envisioned when he set up all these free programs?  Makes me wonder about those Democrats and all their freebie policies.  

I know some of these parents do not know how to cook a decent meal because they have never even tried.  But, you know, a box of oatmeal and a loaf of bread can go a long ways towards filling a hungry stomach of a youngster.  I used to figure my grocery money very carefully and I could pay for a box of oatmeal and plan on several morning’s breakfast instead of a box of cereal that would only go round a couple of times at a much higher price.  Why can’t these parents do the same thing.

Are these parents the ones that my tax money is supporting these days?  Are they the ones who holler all the time because they are out of a job when they don’t want to work anyway?  Are they the same ones who line up to get every freebie available?  And then they don’t even bother to feed their own youngsters.  I know times are tough.  I know there are fewer jobs.  I know everyone is having to tighten their belt a little bit.  But not everyone is out of a job.  And not everyone has to depend upon the freebies for sustenance.  

Meanwhile, feed those young children.  They are hungry and they have no reason to be hungry.  Surely, the mother or the father is capable to providing something on the table for every child.  I’m sure the mother and father have something to eat.  If not, they would be lying in the ditches everywhere.  So we know they are eating and probably eating very well.  Just too much trouble to provide for their young ones.  Too much effort to stop playing on their computer or watching their TV set in order to take the time to provide that meal.  If they have any kind of income, feeding their children should come first.  Period.  

It is the parent’s RESPONSIBILITY to feed their own children.  It is not the RESPONSIBILITY of the government, nor the school, nor the neighbors, nor the church.  It is the PARENT’S RESPONSIBILITY to feed their own young chiildren

Feed those hungry children – NOW!





WAITING

16 02 2011

My father-in-law had struggled for every breath for many years.  Emphysema had taken a big toll on his life.  But he kept right on going and going and going. He could walk only a few feet and then would have to hold onto something while he caught his breath.  

My mother-in-law came down with the flu and had to go to the hospital for a few days.  This left my father-in-law at home alone.  And he certainly could not stay alone.  So he also went to the hospital to stay until she could recover and go back home. 

We ate our usual Sunday lunch and then drove out to the hospital to visit with them.  It was about 20 miles away from our home.  We visited for a minute with my mother-in-law and then went into my father-in-law’s room.  When my husband saw his father, he immediately bolted out of the room.  I did not know what was wrong as I saw nothing different.  I looked down the hall and my husband was on the telephone at the desk.  He returned to the room and said he had called the local Catholic Priest.  Then he said his father was dying and needed the last rites of the Church.  I still saw nothing different, but sat down in a chair and waited for the Priest to arrive.  

When the Priest came in, he  immediately bent down and talked with my father-in-law.  He asked him if he knew who he was and my father-in-law said ‘Yes Father’.  Then the Priest anointed my father-in-law and gave him the last rites of the Catholic Church.  Within only a few minutes, my father-in-law breathed his last agonizing breath and was gone from this earth.

The Priest turned to me and said, ‘Sometimes a soul will wait.  I have had this happen many times.  The soul will wait for the last rites and then can go in peace.’

What a warm and wonderful thought that is.  I hope my soul waits  until it can go in peace.





HOT DRYER

15 02 2011

When I got the last load of laundry out of the dryer this afternoon, I started laughing to myself about an article I had read.  It was a very serious  ‘helpful hint’   article telling how to save money on utilities.  Of course, it listed the usual things such as wash in cold water as often as possible.  And don’t hot dry your dishes, etc.  But then, the last hint said ‘Always use a hot dryer.’  Now, I know my dryer is HOT.  No doubt about that one.  But how to keep the dryer always HOT was the problem.  

With four teens and a couple of younger ones in the house, I washed about 5 loads per day. On Monday, I washed 8 loads because I did not wash on Sundays.  Some of those Sunday  clothes had to be dry cleaned instead of washed which explains the 8 loads instead of 10 for that day. For some reason, all those teens thought they were supposed to take at least one shower per day.  And they insisted upon changing their clothes at least once a day, too.  I never had the heart to tell them any different.  Our younger ones had to be washed down periodically also.  

I tried to keep that HOT dryer running.  But sometimes, it just wasn’t possible.  I had a habit of being through with the laundry by 3 in the afternoon when everyone started coming in from school.  That way, they could find their clean clothes for the next time.  That wasn’t too hard to do since the machines did all the work.  I just filled them up now and then.  But it still bugged me about that HOT dryer and how to keep it HOT so I could save money on the utility bills.  

Guess I could run the dryer all night. But then I couldn’t see how that would help on the bills very much.  I could imagine that meter going round and round and round outside my house.  Probably start whistling in the middle of the night, too.  Might make the neighbors wonder about me even more than they did now.  Maybe I can call the electric company and ask about this profound advice.  Then they can wonder about me, too.  

 Meanwhile, guess I’ll just have to pay that utility bill every month until I figure out how to keep my HOT dryer HOT.  But it gives me something to laugh about when I open that dryer and  all those clothes fall out onto the floor.

 I know what – this is what it means to Have a Nice Day!  Or another fun day.  Or – oh well, you know – another one of those days!  But at least I have a HOT dryer – sometimes.





PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES

10 02 2011

Having raised a large number of very average children, I used to hate going to Parent Teacher Conferences.  Not because I dreaded meeting with the teachers, but because I simply did not have the extra time.  I knew what my children did at school.  I knew what they were capable of doing at school.  And I was pleased with all of them as they grew up.  None of them were of the Straight A variety, but I really didn’t care.  They were all well rounded, happy children who knew what was going on in their world, had nice friends, and were blessed with a good sense of humor.  I was a good Mom.  My husband was a good Dad.  And we had a very happy family.  No problems to speak of, ever, except the normal teaching of discipline and manners over the years.  And that usually depended  upon the personality of each individual child.  

But here come the Parent Teacher Conferences once again. Time to go sit in the hall outside the various doors and wait to be called.  

My only problem was that in each and every room with each and every teacher, I was usually told the same line – ‘If your child would just try, he could do a lot better.’  I thought to myself by the time I was through with Parent Teacher Conferences that if one more teacher said that to me I was going to go over the top of that desk.  Instead, I always smiled and acted like a lady  the way  my mother  had taught me to do. 

Maybe I am wrong in my thinking, but it would seem to me that it is the teacher’s job to make my child want to try and want to do better in her class and want to be interested in her subject.   That is what she is there for; to  teach my child her particular subject, whatever it might be.  If she does not stimulate his interest, he will not try in her class.  Period.  That is why different people have different jobs in life.  They are interested in different and various fields.  That is also true of children.  They all have different interests.  May not be science or reading, but then it is the teacher’s job to make them interested in that particular science project or that book to read.  

Sure am glad I am through with Parent Teacher’s Conferences.    I might have become dangerous.