Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from April 1, 2008 - May 1, 2008

Entries from April 1, 2008 - May 1, 2008


Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite

Good night, sleep tight, do not let the bed bug bite.

A pleasant rhyme unless your bedroom is infected by bed bugs. Where they came from, we are not sure. I suspect the nasty little creature hitched a ride in our suitcases during one or more hotels stays for travel hockey.

Did you know an itch could be painful? It is not the bug bite you think as being painful; it is the consistent, prolonged itchiness that seems like an entity separate from the bite itself which drives you insane. It interrupts your day and deprives you of sleep at night.

The first question the allergist asked was if we had bed bugs. I assured him we didn’t; after all, they are nothing more than part of a silly child’s rhyme. He may as well have asked me if I had rats in the house because I played “Ring around the rosie” with my children.

According to a March 20 Wall Street Journal article, bed bugs are back. That pleasant little bedtime rhyme is no longer pleasant. The article mentions the use of specially trained dogs and expensive chemical intervention to eradicate the pests. I, could have told them, that the bugs were back last year.

After researching professional measures that sound expensive and a little scary, I went the low-tech way of freeing our home of bed bugs.

Toss everything infested if it can’t be washed in hot, hot water. Ground zero for the infestation was my daughter’s bedroom. The wooden bed frame was infested, out it went, along with her mattress and a furry lime green fabric chair.

Enclose all remaining mattresses in high quality plastic mattress covers. Don’t forget to enclose your box spring as well as your mattress. Plan to leave these on for years. Bed bugs need blood to reproduce but they can live a long time without access to blood.

Wash everything else in hot, hot water. Our washing machine ran for days on end as I washed everything made fabric that we owned.

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. I vacuumed our 2nd floor twice a day for a month. It was about 2 weeks before there were no signs of any bedbugs. By vacuum, I mean everything: Floor, walls, curtains, furniture, lampshades, bookshelves, kids, dogs. Do not dispose of the vacuum bag in the house. Place it in a sealable garbage bag and get that ticking bomb out of your house

Go the extra mile. Even thought there was no sign of bed bugs on the 1st floor, I vacuumed it every day for a month also just to be safe. I vacuumed the 2nd floor once a day for a second month. I still, 10 months later, regularly check the beds for rips in that mattress covers (none yet).

It took a lot of my time to get rid of those bugs. I saved us money and didn’t expose my family to chemicals used to kill to bugs. We are bug free 10 months later.

Be warned……..bed bugs are back.


AARP Time Marches On

There are events that mark the passages of life:

A baby's first step

A child's first day at school

A teen getting her drivers licence, her parents handing her the car keys

as she heads out the door, alone

Voting for the first time in an presidential election

The first day at a "real job". One you actually have to show up for

Your wedding day

The birth of your first child

Your child's high school graduation

Receiving an AARP enrollment application in your mail box

My husband received one from AARP yesterday....

Time marches on.


The PS2 Expirence

Okay, I admit it. I bought the Play Station 2 (PS2) game system for me. Yes, for me,! I bought the PS2 as yet another sacrifice of money to the gods of exercise. Over the years I have spent good money on other items that I thought would help me get fit, thin, healthy and/or sexy.

Of course, none of them work. We gave the expensive skier away after I pulled a tendon using it. The various and assorted hand weights “designed for women” are lined up on a window sill in the basement. They bring color to an otherwise drab room. The exercise ball bounces from room to room. Don’t get me starting on how much I have invested in exercises DVDs. No matter how well made the DVD is, after a while, it gets boring and you need another one to keep motivated. While making my semi-yearly exercise god sacrifices, I did discover that I enjoy dance DVDs. I have hip hopped, hulaed, and dance partied with the best of them, in the privacy of my bed room so as not to scare the teenagers living in my home. Mom shaking her bootie to hip hop music is the stuff of nightmares, or gales of potentially rib splitting laughter for them. I am kinda proud of myself.

It has taken me only 6 months and 3 days of explanations, from a resident, unscarred by mom's hip hop phase ,teen for me to learn how to turn the PS2 on, insert my Dance, Dance, Dance Revolution game (DDR) and use the dance pad to control the game. I am definitely not an early adapter. I have to admit this is a fun way to exercise. I was mildly concerned about the lyrics to the songs being vulgar and I’m sure some of them are. But I have to concentrate so hard on the little arrows rolling up the scene and stepping on the corresponding arrow on the pad I honestly don’t hear the words. Just as well. I have notice the voice coming from the game is not as encouraging as it might be. I do believe I are heard the ersatz crowd booing during my exercise time. I try not to take booing personally.

In addition to the beginners, light and advanced modes, the designers should consider a "be nice to the old lady who controls what games are bought in her home" mode. With the popularity of the Wii with the older crowd, DDR programmers should consider coming out with 70’s and 80‘s music versions. They could call it DDR Old School.


I Want A Tattoo

I want to get a tattoo. When I was turning forty I asked my husband what he thought of the idea, he thought tattoos were cheap and tacky. I took up walking marathons and drinking coffee instead. I still want a tattoo.
Tattoos are not the rebellious culture defying statement of individually they were 10 years ago. That’s because so many of us forty-somethings used tattoos to express our individually. According to Elizabeth Hayt’s New York Times article “Over-40 Rebels With a Cause: Tattoos”, 9 percent of women ages 40 to 64 years old have at least one tattoo. I have several friends with one. Nose piercing with tiny little studs seem to be the cutting edge of individuality among my friends and acquaintances. A stud in my nose does not appeal to me. I, rather, remain part of the non-nose stud crowd. I still want a tattoo.
My mother didn’t have a tattoo, and my 17 year old daughter doesn’t have a tattoo, nor my 12 year old one for that matter. A tattoo marks a different path of aging than in my mom’s generation, and means I am one step ahead of my daughter's (for now).
Fifty years should be marked by something different, a little adventure, something mildly annoying to the kids and shocking to any future grand kids. Something more permanent than blue streaks in my hair, and less expensive than a red BMW convertible. Fifty years shouldn’t have to be celebrated with something sensible. Sensible is what my grandmother would have enjoyed.
The problem of course is I asked my husband what he thought on the subject and he seemed to think, because I asked for his opinion, he had some say in my decision. I am wondering how long the statute of limitations applies to that conversation. I’m 48 now. That one little conversation was eight years ago. He was not so ungracious to come right out and tell me not to get a tattoo, he just let me know he didn’t like the idea. If I check with him again and he is still of the same frame of mind, I still won’t get a tattoo. Not because I can’t, but because his opinions do effect my personal decisions. That is part of what being married is.
But what if I go ahead and just get one…..

Maybe I will see how much that BMW convertible costs first…
What about it girls, anyone want to share her tattoo story?

Making Friends After a Certain Age

I have watched friends struggle with this, I just never though it would happen to me. The reality is, it is easier to make friends when your children are younger. Without realizing it, our lives overlap in several areas; we are in play groups, MOPS groups, church groups, sports groups, car pools and neighborhoods together. There are many interconnected circles of relationships we take for granted during those busy years of parenting young children. We depend on each other to survive and thrive. Play groups and MOPS are sanity savers for new moms. A chance to talk with someone over four feet tall, who speaks in complete sentences, won’t ask you to wipe her bottom, and who will willingly share the chocolate she had stashed in her child’s diaper bag are as significant a bonding experience as a Marine surviving boot camp with her platoon. It is the stuff that life long friendships are built on.
As your kids grow, you see each other at church, at elementary school, play dates and sports events. It is all too easy to take for granted that you will always be able to make friends.
Life, however; does not stay static. You may move, the kids schools are switched every year (something that happens frequently where I live. School boards that are more concerned about numbers than children is a subject for another time), your spouse discerns God’s call to serve in a different church body, the neighbors you loved and knew forever move….the circle of relationships that allowed you to make friends, begins to dissipate. Your children grow older; they no longer need you to arrange play dates. The struggles of balancing new motherhood, elementary school and middle school kids are past, and with that passage are gone the opportunities that bond women one to another.
Friends with older children have tried to relate how isolated they felt as their circle of relationships changed. Snug (or smug if you prefer) in my cozy, consistent world, I was not as sympathetic as I am now. Experience is a great teacher.
My children are older, we are in a new church body, and most of the women in this body have established friendships, and I am lonely. The temptation is to blame my circumstances: If those women were friendlier, if my husband could just have been content were we were, if we had another child (ha!).
I realize that the women in our church are not unfriendly; most work outside the home and serve at church. A significant number have young children. They are very busy. It will take time to find my place in this new social circle. I am trying; in the mean time I am lonely.
I could demand that my husband fill that loneliness. I have learned through demand and error, that while he makes a great husband he doesn’t make a great girl friend. Demanding he be what he is not created to be will strain our marriage.
I could get a job and be around other people in the work place. That will probably happen in the future. For now I am going to finish homeschooling my daughter through middle school.
The amazing thing about being a follower of Jesus is even in the struggles of life, I live in hope. I don't need to blame my circumstances or demand circumstances change to suit me. While being honest about my struggle and the pains assoicated with it, (I truly am lonely) I have seen God is faithful through other common life struggles. I know that as I look to Him, He will teach me about Himself an in the process, even in the struggles woth loneliness, there is hope. And Hope does not dissappoint.
5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5

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