In the Still of the Night

I hear the clock ticking and the puppy sighing. It’s late by my reckoning, yet I’m not ready for sleep.

I love the house quiet like this. I can hear myself think and my heart beat. In the still of the night. . . Hold me darlin’ hold me tight.

Life is so good these days.

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Sunday Morning Gospel

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Too Big for My Britches

Soon I'll be rocking the 501s again!

Soon I’ll be rocking the 501s again!

The Atkins Diet and I are having a fight today. So far, it’s winning.  I have what is called The Atkins Flu – headache and malaise being the chief of my symptoms.  It occurs at the beginning of the Induction Phase of the diet – the first two weeks – as carbohydrates are limited to 20 grams or less and the body switches from storing carbs to burning fat.

Yes, I’ve gotten too big for my britches.   The stress of the past few years, plus my love of carbohydrates, has flooded my system with cortisol.  Combine that with menopause and it all becomes an unsightly mess.  More importantly, carrying this extra weight hurts.

After the vacation, I felt serene enough to plunge myself back into low carb dieting. Years ago, things got a bit out of hand and the Atkins Diet straightened it all out in record time.  This, after I’d tried the low fat, counting calories route for some time.  Please.  No criticisms.  This strategy works for my body.  It’s only been a week and I’m already down 6 lbs plus I’ve lost a lot of the bloat that gluten provokes in me.  I know what works for me and this is it.  By the time I reach my goal, my cholesterol and triglycerides will be very good and I will be rocking my favorite pair of jeans.  Just you wait and see!

In the meantime, I have another day or so of feeling crummy. By Sunday or Monday, I should be energetic and ready to take over the world.

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Throwback Thursday: Punkin and Me

This is my favorite picture of Jeremy and I together.  I just love that look on his face.

This is my favorite picture of Jeremy and I together. I just love that look on his face.

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A Mouse in the House and a Bat in the Bedroom

scaredThere is evidence of a mouse in my pantry. I hope it’s just a mouse and not mice. Or worse, a squirrel. I’m pretty confident that it’s not a bat.

I loathe mice. Loathe them. More embarrassingly, I’m afraid of them. I think it’s the surprise of the scurry factor – a startle and a cringe. Since they arrive each year about this time, I’ve come a long way. A long time ago, I lived in a rental house that had a mouse. A mouse so brazen, he or she would pop its head up from the burner, saunter across the counter and dip into the dishwater for a drink – the same dishwater that I’d had my hands in nanoseconds before. I was so unnerved by this mouse that I moved into a motel until The Ex could offer proof the evil creature was dead.

I would prefer to have snakes in the house over mice. Snakes are cool and they eat mice. The brief period of time I did have a snake camping out in my home, the vermin problem was nonexistent. Worse than mice are squirrels. Those creatures are nothing but big mice with a flamboyant tail and damaging incisors.

squirrel-eating-acornI’ve had squirrels in the house. I found pockets of acorn stash here and there. It took quite a bit of money and perseverance to evict the squirrels. I was pert near ready for the insane asylum by the time that problem got solved. To my credit, I guess, I did not move into a motel. Like I said, I’ve come a long way.

There was the summer of the possum that wanted to sashay about my family room. I put an end to that pretty quickly. And then there was Willy’s Toad. I wasn’t fond of the toad either – that startle factor again.

Yes, I do have cats. But they’re decorator cats good for nothing but draping themselves across the furniture and looking good. It would no more occur to them to chase the mouse, bite the mouse, kill the mouse, eat the mouse than it does to me.

decorator catMe? I put out rat poison in ramekins strategically placed. It works like a charm. It should be just the matter of a day or so before my new tenant is no longer with me. I used to catch and release them, but then I discovered it was less than 12 hours before they were back in the house. Now I kill the suckers. I’m not generally a poison kind of person, but I do, yes I do, loathe mice.

Life in the barn can be exciting given that I live in the midst of a forest. All kinds of creatures lurk about. The barn is a little more airtight than it used to be, but there are still lots of nooks and crannies where they can get in. However, it’s ever so much better than it was The Night of the Bat.

Picture this: I’m lying in bed next to The Ex in that peaceful nirvana between wide awake and deep sleep. It’s been a brutally hot day. But now it’s midnight and the unairconditioned house is cooling off. To call it a house is a ridiculous overstatement. At that point, the barn was still very much a barn. We had walls upstairs, but the only room with a door was the bathroom. Bear that in mind, it’s important.

batI am just about to drift off. In the process of rolling over, I discover there’s a hot, furry something sleeping on the sheet draped across my belly.

I do what any sane person would do. I brushed it off, leapt out of bed while shrieking while something, later established as a bat, darted and swooped about the bedroom. The Ex was a light sleeper, but even if he wasn’t, my screaming would have easily woken him.

Chef Boy ‘R Mine was a wee thing and I woke him with banshee cries. I did what any mother would do, I took off at run, snatched the kid out of the crib, and made a run for the bathroom. The last glimpse I had of The Ex was he, completely nude, running about the bedroom with a tennis racquet. I have no idea why we had a tennis racquet in the bedroom. (But a few years later, he would use the same racquet to stand in the yard, swinging it to and fro, muttering Cicada Anyone? as we suffered through the 17 year locusts. I’m not sure the racquet was ever used for its intended purpose.)

punkin with ducksI cowered in the bathroom cradling the now crying child. Through the door we could hear The Ex yell, “Die you [expletive deleted], die!” and the sound of the racquet slamming against walls, floors, furniture. The battle raged for quite a while. Both the child and I calmed down. We sat there in companionable silence listening to the mayhem, curses, and racquet whacks. Occasionally, we startled at a particularly forceful whack.

Finally, there was silence. I heard The Ex go down the stairs. I heard him come up the stairs. I heard some scraping. “It’s dead, you can come out now.” And there he was: naked, sweaty, flustered, a little disoriented and holding a dustpan with a dead bat in it.

I’ve learned an appreciation of bats since then and feel bad that this one ended up dead. While working at the university, I often shared my office with a lost bat. The maintenance crew would come and shoo it out and I would go back to working alone. I’ve come a long way. I’m glad there’s not a bat in my house, but I really loathe mice. Those suckers are going to die and I will show no remorse.

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Testing, testing

One, two, three.  Is this thing on?

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Sunday Morning Gospel: West Virginia’s Carpenter Ants

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