Monday, October 10, 2011

Can't talk now

I've been busy blowing my nose with one hand and folding laundry, or stacking wood, with the other. Why is it that Fall colds invariably coincide with Indian summer. Is it so freaking hot out or do I have a fever? The sun is trying to kill me.

The majority of this unfolded, clean laundry was never dirty in the first place. It was, however, suspect, since it had been lying on beds or floors or unfolded in baskets on the floor in a house that seems to be infested with fleas. My biceps are bulging from the 345 scrubbing steel wool baths I have given my poor raw dog, yet still, they hop across my laptop when I'm in bed. Yet still my dog wakes me up in the night with her incessant scratching.

So I brought out the big guns, said to hell with environmental friendliness, clove shampoo and diamataceous earth or whatever it is called and went to the vet for some flea-be-gone of the poisonous persuasion. They gave me a bazooka bottle full of toxic spray and I followed the directions:

First I vacuumed, after having bought myself, on impulse, a brandy new vacuum cleaner, a Eureka Mighty Mite, seeing as how the one I was using was on loan from my parents, not that they knew I had it, and in all honesty, didn't suck. This, in vacuum speak, is not a good thing. Not the same thing as a date that doesn't suck, or a vacation that doesn't suck. A vacuum that doesn't suck, not to confuse anyone, sucks.

At age 45, I think I deserve a vacuum cleaner that sucks.

House vacuumed, dog and favorite stuffed animals on the porch, children trundled off to friends' houses, beds stripped, I wielded the spray can and had at it.

Every minute or so I pushed my face into a window screen and gasped for fresh air. After I was finished I retreated outside to wait. The can said the house is safe to return inside in an hour. I waited two, for good measure.

Once the coast was clear, and the toxic cloud had settled, I came back inside, said a prayer for all the dead fleas and their offspring, boing, brought the dog back inside and immediately dragged her upstairs into the bath for a final, ceremonial bath/flea drowning.  Then I applied Advantix, a topical poison, to the back of her neck, right where Isla's nose ends up when she hugs the dog.

If this doesn't work, I'm moving back to France. It's as good an excuse as any.

 What the wood pile has to do with all this....?
Well, it glowers at me, much like the laundry does, to stack it before it rains again, and before the next load, and the load after that, and the load after that, gets delivered. Any native Vermonter knows not to be fooled by the tease of Indian Summer. Winter is still coming, and it could be here tomorrow.

All the more reason to go for a walk today....


Anonymous said...

Betsy, I've been following your writing for years, though I don't comment often. I just wanted to let you know that I'm often inspired by your honesty and moved by the words you choose. ( I also love that you admitted to crazy sleeping arrangements with your youngest as I was doing a similar night time ritual with my own youngest daughter. ) Anyway, I had a little time to check in and let you know that you need to keep blogging forever. :) Thanks.

Betsy said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I haven't written about the crazy sleeping arrangements in my family in quite sometime. Not because they aren't still crazy, mind you, but because, well.... it just gets tiresome after a while. Isla is in her own bed, for some of the night, some nights all night, but she continues to yell a lot and wake everyone up. Some kids were just not born to sleep, I guess...
thanks for commenting.

Sheri said...

You are even poetic while writing about fleas, Betsy! hehe..this is why I keep coming back to 'visit'. : )
As for winter, I live in Canada and they are talking about the 's' word maybe this coming weekend.
That would be 'snow' for anyone wondering...haha..

-alex said...

Love it. I know you have beautiful newly refinished hardwood floors, but if you have carpets at all, borax powder sprinkled on it helps to kill the eggs before they hatch. It dries them out.

Good luck with the fleas and the woodpile. I'll swap my piles of paperwork with you.

mooserbeans said...

insonsSomethings are never ending: laundry, dishes... Good luck with the fleas. I have a similar problem with the mildew in my shower. I tried every non toxic eco friendly cleaner known to man. I finally had to resort to bleach. I guess sometimes chemicals are the only choice.

Steph said...

Ugh. Fleas. Somehow our indoor cats managed to become infested at the end of the summer and I brought out the big guns, too. Amazing how something so small can cause so much stress!