Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't let the bed bugs bite

The following dialogue takes place over the course of the two hours following the discovery of these little boogers in my bed during my cleaning binge last week.

On the phone the first time with hubbie at work:
TBF: I think we have bed bugs.
H: ...what?
TBF: I think-
H: I heard you, but, oh my god. Okay. Um. How many did you find? In the bed? What do they look like?
TBF: Hold on! I found three. One on top of the sheets and two on the mattress pad. They're small, round, dark brown and flat. But oddly enough, they're all dead.
H: Did you look around the edges of the mattress? Did you take the bed apart?
TBF: Yes and yes. Didn't find anything.
H: Okay, here's what you need to do. Get everything off the floor. Put all of our books in plastic bags-
TBF: Wait, why am I putting them in plastic bags?
H: I've had bed bugs before! They can get anywhere! Just do it!
TBF: ...Ooookay..... Well, I'll call the apartment company-
H: NO! Don't call the apartment company!
TBF: Woah. Why?
H: Because if they find them in other apartments then they'll blame us and we'll have to pay!
TBF: I don't think that's exactly how it wor-
H: Trust me on this!
TBF: I'm calling Rachel.
H: Okay. Oh my gosh. Fine. Sorry. I'm just freaking out here.
TBF: It'll be fine. Relax. I'll let you know when I find out more. 
H: Okay.

Intermission: Called my friends Rachel and Joliene who are both working on their PhD's in entomology. Left messages explaining the situation. Also called the Madison pest inspector office to see what our liability would be in terms of bed bugs. We're fine. Got started cleaning the bedroom (sans bagging up the books. I was not going to do that with 150 books.). Got to vacuuming and stopped.

30 minutes later on the phone for the second time with hubbie at work:
TBF: Sorry to tell you this but I found more.
H: How many more?
TBF: Ten. All in the carpet. All dead. I'm thinking two things: one, that they might be escapees if another apartment got treated for them near us, and two, that we need to call the apartment company.
H: Oh my god. Okay. Oh my god. <freaking out continues> (For the record, I don't blame him for doing this. He got bed bugs several years ago after lots of hotel traveling. He ended up taking apart his bed, opening the windows to his room in the middle of winter and closing the door. He slept on the couch for a week while freezing the bedbugs to death. This is not an option in August.)

Intermission: Called the apartment company and spent the next half hour talking with landlords and trying to email a photo of the bugs in.

30 minutes later on the phone with Rachel:
Rachel: Okay, Lauren, what do the bugs look like?
TBF: Tiny, brown, round, flat.
Rachel: How flat exactly? And how small? Like how many millimeters across?
TBF: Um...
Rachel: That's it. I'm coming over. I'll be there in about ten minutes.

10 minutes later:
Rachel: And these are all the ones you collected? And you didn't find any live ones?
TBF: Nope. That's it. ...Rachel, is that a pipette with alcohol?
Rachel: (Whips out her magnifying glass necklace and a tweezers.) How else am I going to get these back to the lab? I'm going to run some tests. I'll get back to you in a bit. (Dashes out the door. I'm speechless and pretty impressed at the moment.)

Intermission: Spent the next half hour telling my landlords that I had someone on it and that it was not yet necessary to have a pest control guy come out to put C02 traps in my apartment.

20 minutes later on the phone with Rachel:
Rachel: Lauren, are you part plant?
TBF: Not that I'm aware of.
Rachel: Do you have plants in your bedroom or possibly sleep with them?
TBF: No on the first one, and what-are-you-getting-at on the second one.
Rachel: You've got common cydnidae.
TBF: Ah, yes. Oh course! What are those?
Rachel: They're plant bugs that eat leaves. That would explain why you have no bites and why they're dead. What have you guys been doing in bed?
TBF: Damn! You've discovered our secret herb and ivy fetish. I knew we couldn't hide it forever. I guess it's time to finally take our stashes of collars, whips and hydrangeas out of the closet. 
Rachel: Hah! Well, however they got in there it's no problem now. 

5 minutes later on the phone with hubbie for probably the tenth time that day:
TBF: I am a moron.

I'm actually not too much of a moron. Cynidae and bed bugs are in closely related families of bugs. Should any of you also enjoy bedding down with plants (Seriously, we never did figure this out. I have one succulent in the office and that's it. Must have been something we picked up on our clothes somewhere.), here's what the two look like:
In my defense, I'd never seen a bed bug before and I did find them in my bed and bedroom. And telling the difference between them when they're all dead is tougher. Still. I felt kinda dumb.

Kudos to all you entomologists out there. And to all of those who carry pipettes and magnifying glass necklaces with you. You impress the rest of us with science.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Don't Wanna...

 Here we are. It's the middle of August and I'm in the middle of coming down from a slump.Of course that means that I go a little insane in terms of working out, and I often forget to let myself rest. Today the hubbie is traveling around Wisconsin teaching young skaters how to referee roller derby. So I am car-less. And after one hour of elliptical, stretching, ab work, and weight lifting, and a 45 minute walk to the thrift store and back (which netted me an excellent set of flats and a copper necklace), I realized that I screwed up and made the 35min bike ride to the birthday barbecue not as doable as I would have liked. I'll have to make up for my exercise fail with a belated birthday dinner for my buddy.

I started keeping track of my weight every day and have been staying strong since January 1st of this year. While I haven't created a nice downward curve, it has been interesting to see the trends start to form.  For example, every time you see a sudden spike, it marks time I spent with my in-laws. ...I've spent a lot of time with my in-laws. The most recent one is the result of the up north county fair. The one where it was that nice apple pie for dinner, and breakfast... and lunch. Plus the pizza for another dinner, subsistence off fair food for most lunches, and chocolate. Oh, so much chocolate.

About two days later I decided it was worth it, but now that I'm actually hitting the gym and weights like crazy trying to work it off again, I'm having second thoughts.

My ultimate goal is to get to my optimal BMI number apparently that's 131.5lbs for my current age & weight. I haven't gotten there yet, but every little bump in the graph gets me a little closer. My record is 133.5lbs. Granted, that was only for one day, but I'll take what I can get. :)

Has anyone else been tracking their weight? I've looked around online to see if I can find other examples of what a person's body does over the course of a year and (aside from getting blank charts to download and several disturbing photos involving various surgeries) haven't found anything. If anyone else is willing to share I'd be interested to see how my attempts measure up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I think they're trying to tell me something...

Monday my husband and I returned from the land of John Deeres and "hey der's" back to hippie Madison. This weekend was the Iron County Fair where my husband does the annual pie auction that benefits 4-H (The record this year for the first place raspberry-peach pie was $620!), and we both help run the kiddie pedal tractor pull. And while the fair is always a blast, the highlight of this trip was all the really weird signs we kept finding. If they weren't so random I would guess that the gods were trying to tell me something. In this case, though, I'm going to say that Hermes and Kapua were just having themselves a good time. :)
Found at a park in Bayfield. More photos of the park to come... sans the African lion.
Being next to Lake Superior, this made slightly more sense; however, we preferred that it not.
Can your can litter potty and feed itself? Also, is it just me, or is the seller using his cats' disabilities as a positive selling point?
But he's constantly in a custody battle with SATAN!
If you get this joke, you are a true geek, and I bow to your awesomeness.
In a used book shop in Bayfield, WI.
There are so many bad thoughts that come to mind in this gorilla scenario.
Take me, Uncle Sam!
One of the 4-H kids made a safety house for her school project. Just in case someone's interested in home maintainence and wants to make sure they don't die in the process.
Ooh! Be sure to use electricity near - wait. Oh. NOT. I guess that puts an end to my hair dryer, toaster, teslacoil tub parties.
If the population is really "Me and My friends" then move out the way cuz I'm moving to Silly Earth!
Creating a new print publication. This is obviously still in the ideas being thrown around randomly until something seems awesome stage. Meh. It's further ahead than a lot of other papers.
One or more of you might own a horse, know what this is and know its practical uses.
So please know that the rest of us find it absolutely hilarious.

In our family we call these half-exploded chickens.
The absolute weirdest fair attendee.
This is not my truck. And I still can't figure out what's involved in bringing it "to the max".
I really wanted to see that second scenario played out. Then I thought, "It's kind of warm in this restaurant. 560,023 peeps might be a bad idea."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lughnassadh sneaks up on us

I almost had to rub my eyes in disbelief. It's hard to believe that harvest time is already here. True harvest season will begin this weekend for my husband and I when we attend the Iron County Fair. It will be a time of homemade food, probably the most locally made fair food we can get, and livestock auctions. I'm hoping for a Lammas lamb this year. Then again, that's every year for me. :)
For many of us it will be less a time of celebrating the bountiful harvest, and more of a time for prepping for winter. Let's face it, for those stuck in the drought the year has been a little less than bountiful in the produce department. I've been spending the day meditating (in my own way since belly dancing has adapted to my natural lack of patience and the resulting wiggle-butt syndrome) on really what I've gained this summer aside from just produce. I've grown friendships, learned what my body is capable of (biking 25 miles!) and not that capable of (darn pole dancing), gained experience in the real estate market (and learned that houses sell ungodly fast around here), and changed my eating habits (10.5 pounds down!).
With all that I've positive things I've gained and reaped already, I felt like this Lammas I wanted to focus more on how I can give to others. This explains the odd, almost chemical, smells permeating my apartment that resulted from my first attempt at homemade finger paint. Thank you to Tiffany at Easy Peasie for her recipe, and to Leeanne at Can We Have a New Witch? Ours Melted for passing it along! I got the baby food jars from a woman off Freecycle and was cooking up batches of gooey, multi-colored goodness this afternoon. Don't let my choice of the word "goodness" fool you. While the mixture is non-toxic, it is not edible. My natural curiosity got the best of me and I gave it a taste. Don't do this. It leads to scrunched up faces and clawing at your own tongue. But use it as it's meant to be used - on paper - and it works pretty well. The paints will be going to my younger niece for her 2 year birthday in a few weeks. Well, that is if her mother approves. My younger niece has a tendency to be adorably mischievous when left to her own devices. :)
So wherever you might find yourself this harvesting season, whether it be gathering the fruits from your garden or keeping warm in Australia (:P), may your Lammas have many gifts given and recieved. And may they not turn out as gooey as this.
I promise this comes out cooler. :)