— 1 —
As you know, my mother-in-law Yaya moved 10 blocks down the street a few months ago. We had hoped that she might live in one of the few scorpion-free zones in our neighborhood, but, alas, it was not to be. I answered the phone early this morning to hear, in lieu of any greetings or formalities, “JENNIFER YOU WILL NOT GUESS WHAT WAS ON MY KITCHEN FLOOR THIS MORNING!” It was a little anti-climactic when I immediately replied, “A scorpion?” (You know she’s a newcomer to the area that she was hoping I’d be surprised by the news.) We chatted about it for a while, and though she did not specifically recount any details about how she got rid of it, I naively assumed that she did. And then, just as we were about to change the subject, she said in passing, “Anyway, it’s here in a glass in the kitchen for the kids to play with when they come over.”
— 2 —
My babysitter walked in during this conversation, and after I got off the phone she recounted a story about a woman she knows who got stung by a scorpion. Want to guess where it happened? Yeah. That’s right. IN BED. For new readers who may not have seen my extensive coverage of this issue, behold:
Everyone who has scorpions in their house eventually gets stung in bed while they’re asleep. Everyone. There are no exceptions. And it has not happened to me…yet. I generally try to block this information out of my mind, but every now and then I’ll awaken in the middle of the night thinking, “MAYBE TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!!!!!!” I’ll just keep it real and admit that I’m only talking about this so that people can feel sorry for me. And any recommendations for relaxation techniques in light of the knowledge that it is only a matter of time until a scorpion crawls into my bed and stings me in my sleep, perhaps getting tangled up in my pajamas so that I cannot immediately get rid of it would be appreciated.
— 3 —
As I was typing the above, Yaya came over. I accidentally let it slip that we have a huge yellowjacket nest on our back porch, and immediately realized my mistake. I backpedaled as fast as I could. “…which we love, ” I added hastily. “They’re kind of like pets to us. Certainly in no hurry to get rid of it, no siree!” But it was too late. As I knew she would, she jumped into action before I’d even fished my sentence. The next few minutes were a blur: Yaya running outside and jumping as high as she could, trying to swat it down with her bare hand. The kids all following her in a herd, trying to stampede outside with her. Yaya rushing back in, grabbing the wasp spray and hosing the nest. Angry yellowjackets jerking around in the air beside her while she pretended to swat them for the kids’ amusement as they watched through the window. Her trying to get back in, unsuccessfully because the kids were glued to the window on the door. The door opening, kids running out — some of them BAREFOOT — into the melee of chemicals and dead yellowjackets while Yaya ran in. Nobody sure if any of the wasps slipped into the house during the chaos.
The back porch was now covered with trampled yellowjacket parts, which my son delighted in scooping up one by one with his BugZooka. I say again: This is why I don’t have a lifestyle blog. Other women have pictures of children frolicking in sun-kissed fields of lush grass, creating delicate crafts, baking nutritious and delicious concoctions…my pictures would be of scorpions in cups, rivulets of Raid raining down from my back porch, and children running around holding BugZookas filled with crushed yellowjackets, all with glimpses of me cowering in some corner in the background.
— 4 —
How many more days until the baby gets here? I’ve been counting it in terms of the number of shots I have left to give myself:
Whoo-hoo! The end is in sight!
— 5 —
I’m experiencing a bizarre version of nesting. I have no urge to lift a finger around the house, but there is one way in which my maternal instinct is manifesting itself: SHOPPING. Normally I couldn’t care less about shopping. I’m fortunate in that I’m rarely tempted to spend money on anything other than food and books. I can easily walk into Macy’s or Kohl’s and not feel the slightest urge to purchase anything. But THOSE DAYS ARE GONE. I have the shopping bug so bad that I’m almost tempted to leave the house to satisfy it (almost). I bought all the items from my fashion inspiration board within about two minutes of receiving the links from Hallie, and have been devoting a large percentage of mental energy trying to come up with some baby product that we need but don’t already have (quite an intellectual exercise when you’re having your fifth baby in seven years). This is particularly dangerous since we have a small house and a small budget — it will be very good when this phase passes.
Anyone else have any weird nesting habits?
— 6 —
I am so interested in this concept of “barefoot” running with shoes like the Vibram FiveFinger. Has anyone (other than Michael Hyatt) tried this? I’m really eager to get some of these odd-looking contraptions to try when I’m back in jogging condition. (As we established in #4 here, it’s not like I could look any more ridiculous than I already do when I run). I’ve been fascinated with the idea ever since I read Born to Run, in which the author makes a compelling case that almost-barefoot running is far better for our bodies than using modern puffy athletic shoes. By the way, if you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it. It’s hard to describe why it’s such a page-turner — saying that it’s a part-memoir, part-instruction, part-scientific-study book about running never really grabs people — but I promise that it’s a fantastic read. Just look at the Amazon reviews as a testament to its awesomeness.
— 7 —
If you have emailed me recently, let me just say: I am so sorry. I have not been dealing with, well, anything very well lately. Whereas I used to take some time once a week to power through my blog and personal correspondence, now I use that time to look at my inbox and let out a long, belabored sigh before going to flop in bed and read a book. One of these days I’ll get back on track.
Have a nice weekend!
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