Freaking out . . .

Thursday, September 29, 2016

I had this after church on Sunday. This picture is kind of a bait and switch, because what you're about to read is not pretty.
It was a long, hot summer.

The cooler temps we're experiencing now are such a refreshing change. I was thankful when we got to turn off the AC and throw open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. I especially love to have the bedroom window cracked at night.

So for a week or so we enjoyed blissful sleep as the gentle autumnal air wafted through the window screen.

Except that said screen was not properly inserted into the window frame. And a small army of stink bugs, unbeknownst to us, were filing in, apparently night after night, and making themselves right at home. 

I can't even tell you how much these things have been freaking me out.

The first time I noticed them was when I pulled off our bedspread preparatory to changing the sheets, and saw two of them high-tailing it right up the middle of the bed!

They were in the blinds, on the walls. I picked them off, one by one, careful not to squish them in the Kleenex (they're called stink bugs for a reason!), and flushed them down the toilet. And thought, finally, after two days, I had got rid of them.

No. I had someone over to help me do some cleaning the next day, and she found probably 50 to 100 more hiding behind a dresser. We even found one in my sock drawer! We spent a whole afternoon hunting them down.

Everything, and I mean everything, is out of my dresser. We washed the whole thing down. I have towels at the base of our closet doors at the other end of the room. (If I see one in my clothes. . . ) And in front of our bedroom door to prevent them from getting anywhere else in the house.

My husband and I are sleeping in a guest room. Until we take apart the bed and check the entire frame (I found one hidden in there), I am not going to be lying on that bed. The first couple nights I was clinging to my husband like he was the last lifeboat leaving the Titanic. I was sure one of those pests had followed us down the hall and would be joining us in bed.

Really, I don't know what's wrong with me. A friend of mine has bed bugs in her house, and she's as cool as a cucumber, just matter of factly taking care of things. I would be insane. Now stink bugs do not bite or spread disease or cause damage. They don't lay eggs in a house either, unlike bed bugs or fleas, only outside on leaves in the summer. (And you can be sure I googled that six ways to Sunday so there was no mistake about it!)

So I was kinda calming down. And then I found some downstairs. 

Freaking out.

But we only found five downstairs; I think they got in when I was filling up the bird feeders and left the screen door open. But I can tell you I have been going around with a flashlight, checking every nook and cranny to make sure those little beasts aren't hiding anywhere. They are really good at sidling up to the dark edges of things. And they are really kinda big and ugly.

I will not post a picture because I can't stand to look at another one. I thought you'd like the stuffed waffle instead.

 I haven't seen one in two days now. But you never know, they could still be hiding. 

I tell ya, it's like a horror show over here. 

Sock woes

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I was literally in tears the other day. Over a sock. 

I mentioned in a previous post that I was learning to knit socks. My mom helped me get started when she was here for the wedding, but I was able to do most of the ribbing, heel flap, heel turn, and the beginning of the gusset all by myself. (With a little help from You-Tube.)

I was so pleased with how things were turning out. It was like magic.

But I made a mistake and ended up with a small hole. I debated about what to do, and thought maybe I would just darn it up after I was done. But it was bugging me. I should have listened to that little voice telling me I was headed for even bigger problems.

I've now ripped it down past the lowest needle here.
Fixing knitting mistakes is no picnic. I ended up unravelling literally hours of work, after attempting several times to pick up stitches with no success.

I really am thinking I should just rip the whole thing out. I've discovered a couple dropped stitches back toward the beginning of my work. Really? 

Persistence. Patience. 

This sock will not defeat me. 

In happier news, I am on the pumpkin bandwagon with everyone else these days.

Happy Fall! Best time of year.


Friday, September 16, 2016

It’s always September when I think of her the most.

It’s on a perfect fall day such as this, here in the Midwest, that I think of her there, in New England, all those years ago. I can see her out pegging up the heavy wet laundry on the clothesline behind that old white frame house.

She would have pushed open the back screen door with her hip, carrying the round plastic basket of clean clothes down the steps and picking her way carefully across the yard littered with the small wormy green apples. She would have sighed, thinking that they really needed to be raked up. The leaves of the old apple tree would be shifting and turning in the light breeze, patterns of sunlight and shadow on her soft thinning white hair and her floral cotton blouse.

Over across the gravel drive, the bees from my grandfather’s hives would be lazily humming in the garden, planted fifty or more years before, its fruit sustaining through the long, lean years of the Depression and beyond. I can see the colorful and hardy nasturtium and the long gray stone wall that marked the edge of their property.

The bird song I listen to now, the screeching of the jays as if they sense the cold that is coming, the drops of the night’s rain on the last of the geraniums. The faint hum of traffic in the distance. She heard these same sounds, felt the same warmth of the sun as she lifted freshly washed sheets and towels and felt her arms ache as she moved slowly down the line, reaching into an apron pocket for the wooden pins, spacing them evenly.

She was the age I am now, my grandmother. Old in my child’s eyes when we visited in the summers. 

Not so old now, just a kindred spirit.
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