Today was another unplanned off day. Oh, joy. Well, I could not stay in bed all day or I just could not live with myself. So, what will I do? To answer this question, I decided to take my iPad into my study. I knew something would pop up there that could make me feel useful. I opened the door to what once was my son’s room when he was small. He is grown now. I really love to sit in this room late at night. It has been forever. The room was off limits since one of my daughters brought home a stray, very young kitten on her last leg. The kitten survived to drive us crazy. Unfortunately, the room where my daughter nursed her back to health, became infested with fleas. Mega fleas! Fleas that were resistant to four bombs-one per week. We emptied the room of everything. Still, FLEAS! There were so many fleas, my husband when he left the room, his white socks were black. The socks stayed outside for days. I threw them away.
So, bombs did not work. My turn to figure out a solution. I waited a few weeks and bravely entered the room with another pair of knee, high white socks on my feet (not mine hubby’s). I closed the door and turned around twice (had to be an even number of times). Then, I walked right out the door, downstairs and outside to examine my socks. Fleas still. Shit!
I have a best friend. We use to teach together back when I had a job. I am the person my friend referred our black students to whenever they earned a poor grade in her math class. The students tried intimidation to get her to change the grade by accusing her of being a racist toward black students. They would say to her,“You do not like black students. That is why I got this bad grade.” She would smile and say, “I can’t be racist. My best friend is black. Go downstairs and ask her.” They would of course ask me thinking they had an ally in me because I was black too. We would all have a great laugh every time it was used on her.
Turn around is fair play I always say. When the white students accused me of the exact same thing, I aways replied, “I can’t be a racist. My best friend is white! Go upstairs and ask her.” They did of course thinking they had an ally in her because she was white. We got a great laugh again. The students quickly figured out that neither of us were racist. We just insisted on the very best work from our students. And we got it most of the time.
Anyway, she is a country girl, cowgirl, retired math teacher, horse owner and trainer, mother and grandmother. She and her husband can do anything possible. Their garden is amazing. (Still wondering what she can’t do.) While at her home, I asked her what she knew about diatomaceous earth I had read about. Naturally, she knew all about it (I was not in the least bit surprised). She gave me some. I took it home. Later in the week I was about to apply it the way I thought would work when I discovered the kitty got into the bag and ate some of it. The kitty was alive and quite well. There was no way that this earth was going to kill the fleas. Still, I continued my plan. I had no other choice. I waited a few days. Then I did the white sock test again. Magically, fleas gone-no fleas! Wow! I set up the room just for me. A small, sky blue room, which offered me a private space with a front view of our property, large window and quiet. A place for all of my stuff. Loving it!
One night, I got ready to go to bed. I was particularly sadden again by my financial circumstances. I turned off the light and sat in the dark to ward away the depression that too often tried to creep up without notice. Bliss! It was a warm summer night. I could hear a symphony of music from the various creatures found outside when one lives in the country. Still, it was soothing and comforting to me.
Having successfully ebbed any feelings of depression or inadequacy for the moment, I opened my eyes to get up. I needed to make sure I did not stand on the tiny dog on the floor somewhere. Then something magical happened. I saw white shapes. I put my glasses on. I stared. I was seeing stars. Stars all over the room. Before I moved into my study, I washed the floor and the walls. I saw the stars. But paid them no attention. I was careful not to knock many off on to the floor. That night each lit up the room. I did not put them on the wall; therefore, I knew nothing about their characteristics. Turned out my son placed them on his wall in middle school. (Do I remember back that far?) The stars were beautiful. They immediately made me feel I could accomplish anything. I was very thankful my son put them there; it seemed, in that moment, just for me. When I get depressed about my situation, I wait until night. Then, I turn off the light and enjoy the peace.
One night, hell broke loose! Something fell on me in the dark. I jumped like I walked into a spider web. I flung my arms wildly. The lamp went flying as everything on the table knocked over. Stepped on the dog. She screamed. I could feel “it” still crawling on me. Pulled whatever off of me and flung it. I shivered. Wiggled and hopped to the light switch. Turned it on while still thinking something was having me for snack. There were bugs all over my pretty pink, lacy curtains. Disgusting! An invasion of my space! Murder leaped from my mind to my hand. I grabbed a newspaper. I balled it up and started smacking! Got a stool. I smashed every icky thing I saw. Damn it! They could fly. I murdered about twenty-five! Nooooo! Noooo! Noooo- not after the fleas! Where is the justice in this? I killed them all. Confident they would not return, I left the room.
I missed the next two days visiting my room. I forgot about the bugs. When I returned to the room, memories of the mass murders I committed-flooded back. I scanned the room. They were back! Zombie bugs! Some were flying. Bzzz, buzz squish. Bzzz, buzz and squish again- killing most of them. Yuk! Yuky! I started to itch. Left the room in a hurry-headed to the farm store with a bug.
Stink bugs! The room was infested with stink bugs! This time I had my own solution to try. We washed the dogs with Dawn and it killed their fleas. Since I could not find any solutions for the stink bugs, I got a glass jar. Filled it with water. Added blue Dawn to it. Then, I went back into the room. I trapped the bugs, one my one, in the light blue, bubbly solution in the jar. They died. Yea! I did this all week. One day I came home to find an entire wall outside of our house covered with those hideous stink bugs. Good God! They looked like they carried their own armor. One was green like grass. A green stink bug among a sea of brown ones. Really! Every time someone opened the door to the outside they flew in. I ended up putting a jar in every room. It took a while, but it worked. We are winning, but the fight continues.
Now, I sit in my study peacefully without being bugged-most of the time. I put my knitting down and scan the room. I hear buzz, buzz again. I turn and look. I grabbed the jar on the small table next to my balled up newspaper. There were several of the pests on the screen. Thankfully, they were outside trying to get in. And I thought I had no job!