Tag Archives: Ick & eek

Accidental enlightenment


Accidental enlightenment: when something almost important occurs to you for no apparent reason. For example, I realized yesterday while doing the laundry that, unless you do the last load buck naked and stand in front of the dryer until it is all dried and ready to fold, you will NEVER have all of the laundry done all at once. It is impossible. Thank you. JS


The recycling center at the dump


Stef, Heather, Sam & Trish did a kayaking river run down the Umpqua yesterday.

Toby and I went to the recycling center at the dump. It’s quite a nice facility and very clean. Still, the smells are enough to make him swoon, so he loves going there with me just to hang his head out the window and sniiiiiiiifffffffff to beat the band.

For me, getting the recycling done always feels good. A few years ago, we ripped out a built-in bar in the family room and transformed that into our own recycling center, complete with 3 tall plastic containers marked “PAPER,” “PLASTIC,” and “TIN CANS & GLASS,” making it so much easier to just grab the containers, throw them in the car and head to the dump. The containers fill up much faster than I would have ever imagined, though, especially since I feel so guilty over the tiniest scrap of paper I don’t recycle. Finally, when things are spilling out and onto the floor, or they are getting so heavy I know they’ll be hard to lift, I load Toby up and we go get the job done. If I don’t, I obsess and fret and that’s never a good thing for me to do. JS


Power washing is a messy job


Power washing is a messy, MESSY job. Just thought I’d let you know that.

A wet fall, winter and spring in the Pacific NW means lots of mold and moss and ook on the concrete and in the cracks around the pool and, even though I’ve split it up into 3 sections to get it all done; even though the power washer is mighty and true; even though I bought a special whirly-gig thingie last year at Home Depot which speeds the whole process up immensely, still, it is a slow and tedious and MESSY job.

Plus, I have sprayed our side of the fence, knocking off several years of grime, which means that I now look like I’ve been personally targeted by Monsanto to receive my very own chemtrail and it’s been deposited, so generously, in my hair, on my glasses, in my eyes and onto my t-shirt. NASCAR drivers got nothin’ on me today except a cool uniform. I am a mess.

On the good side, it’s a beautiful day here in Oregon. JS


Odd conversations


Stef and I have the oddest conversations sometimes. For example, this afternoon she had her Nikon out with the giant, bazooka-shaped lens and was photographing a black spider on the post by the gate. He had funky-looking, sorta turquoise-neon eyeballs and fangs to match. Every so often, he’d rise up and bare his fangs at the lens, like that would frighten it away.

“Whoa,” she said, “I think I’m just really making him mad.”

“Is he the kind of spider who flings himself at you and bites?” I asked. I know very little about spiders except to give them their space.

“I’m not sure,” she said, “but, if he flings himself at me, I’m going to scream like a girl.”

I thought for a second. “You realize I won’t be saving you from this, if he attacks,” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

“If he attacks, you’re completely on your own,” I reminded her.

She let out a little sigh of exasperation. “I know,” she said.

I continued, “Because you might scream like a girl, but if that spider attacks, I will crash through the fence and race down the street, squealing like Tarzan’s girlfriend, just know that.”I saw her eyes start to glaze over, but that didn’t slow me down. “Now, if your spider bite gets infected, I will put ointment on it for you, and if your body goes septic because of a nasty spider bite, I’ll drive you to the hospital but, just remember, fighting off the spider is totally up to you and, if I were you, I’d quit doing whatever it is I was doing to piss him off. But, that’s just me.”

She lowered the camera for a moment and stared at me. “Jody,” she said.

“Hmmm?” I replied.

She pointed toward the door. “Go inside,” she said.

And, so, I did. JS


Terrible SLAP YO MAMA influenza strain


Stef is really sick today. This may be the worst day yet. It’s hard to wait out the flu, but there seems to be no alternative. Cough meds make her puke. Theraflu almost made her jump out the window. Hacking and snorting sounds compete with the sounds of Saturday morning TV. Each room is a flurry of tissues, a littered battlefield of teacups, medicine jars, vitamin bottles, ripped open packets of flu symptom deterrent, and half-eaten pieces of toast. The miasma of illness hangs in the air like a wet diaper, heavy and boggy.

I am not sick and, yet, I feel droopy because of it. I have washed and rewashed my hands until they are red and raw little nubs; I don’t want to catch this flu, but there seems nothing else to do except, perhaps, swirl myself into a giant wad of Saran Wrap and hope for the best.

We both got a flu shot this year, just like every year, but, apparently, the CDC dropped the ball about which of the influenza bugs would be the most virulent. This one, the SLAP YO MAMA influenza strain, made it in under the radar and, so here we are, muddling through it. There is no escape from this, it seems. I could drive away in the car, but where would I go? And, what if she needed my help in the meantime? Patience and compassion, in greater depths than I usually have at any one moment, are called for at this time. I hope we don’t get QUARANTINED. I might go insane. JS