Friday, September 24, 2010

What's Great about 48???

Four dozen - 48 - an interesting number, good or bad, depending on your point of view:

48 is great for:
diet Coke
hundred dollar bills
pairs of shoes
days in Cancun
books sold at a booksigning
friends wishing you Happy Birthday
back massages
good books to read
chocolate truffles
chocolate chips in a cookie

48 is not so great for:
candles on a birthday cake (Unified Fire Authority came a knockin')
chin hairs
bed bugs
pounds gained
speeding tickets
rejection letters
shingles missing
9-1-1 calling because your kids were messing around on the phone
frogs in the swimming pool
children (I'm glad I stopped at 6!)

Happy Birthday to Me! I may be old, but at least I didn't wake up dead!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A couple of recent headlines announced: "[so and so] dead at age 96." I think "[so and so] ALIVE at age 96" is more newsworthy...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Authorpalooza at Barnes & Noble, Orem, Utah, this Saturday afternoon, Sept. 18, 1 - 4 p.m 40 local authors will be there signing books - including Yours Truly...stop & shop & chat!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Die Blood-sucking Bedbugs!!!

Because I grossed everyone out by sharing my bedbug experience, I feel a moral and social obligation to share the eradication story with you as well. It is a long saga, as bedbugs are nasty, resistant little bloodsuckers, but maybe this will help someone who faces a similar problem:

Phase I - Discovery
1. I freaked out

2. Internet research

3. Scratched

4. Took pictures

5. Drank a Diet Coke

6. Disposed of mattress & boxsprings

7. More internet research

8. More scratching

9. Freaked out again

10. Drank another Diet Coke

11. Caught approx. 5 live blood-sucking specimens in a cup to serve as a control group

12. Named the control group members “Edward” “Carlisle” “Alice” “Jasper” “Esme” (a.k.a. The Cullens)

Phase II - Education
1. Made list of bedbug-killing chemicals that are safe to use in residences

2. Determined bedbugs came from a hotel in Page, AZ via my suitcase (found one still alive in my suitcase)

3. Searched every room in the house for evidence of infestation – appeared limited to my bedroom

4. Went to Lowe’s and asked young saggy-pants clerk about chemicals on my list

5. Saggy-Pants gave me a blank look, I said slowly “I NEED SOMETHING TO KILL BEDBUGS!”

6. Saggy-Pants replied, “Are you sure they are bedbugs?”

7. Gave Saggy-Pants a detailed description of bedbugs with photos and snickered as I walked away and he was scratching all over.

8. I scratched

9. Went to IFA (Intermountain Farmers Association)

10. Was introduced to Cykick CS and Nuvan Pro-Strips by two older guys who had both experienced bedbugs in their lives

11. Was assured by the two old guys that I was NOT A BAD HOUSEKEEPER (they haven’t seen my house!)

12. Had a Diet Coke.

Phase III - Destruction
1. Mixed up a Cykick CS (cyfluthrin) cocktail

2. Prepared Nuvan Pro-Strips

From Nuvan’s website:(Pests don’t have a chance near Nuvan® Prostrips®. They are the only product containing DDVP available to the professional pest management market for residential use)

3. Vacuumed room thoroughly (disposed of bag)

4. Washed every washable item in hot water & dried on “bacterial” setting

5. Threw away several items I couldn’t wash due to “gross out factor”

6. Sprayed all crevices, bed frame, night stands, dresser

7. Set the Cullens in center of the room

8. Activated Nuvan Pro-Strips

9. Sealed off room for seven days

10. Sprayed the rest of the house with Cykick-CS cocktail

11. Had a couple of Diet Cokes and premium chocolate


Phase IV - Adding to destruction
1. Checked on progress at least daily

2. Took about 4 days for all of the Cullens to die

3. After 6 days, wiped down walls & furniture with Cykick CS cocktail

4. Re-sprayed the entire room with Cykick CS cocktail

5. 7th day – aired out room; reassembled bed with new mattress & boxsprings

6. Installed mattress cover that is bed-mite proof & bedbug resistant


Phase V - Post "I hope I killed the bloodsuckers"
1. Subsequent days – check mattress every morning and night

2. Scratch

3. 3 days after reassembling everything, crawled around on the floor searching for bedbugs. Found one.

4. Freaked out

5. Pulled everything out from the walls again, moved nightstands & dressers

6. Found 6 bedbugs total on the floor – they were sluggish and slowmoving

7. Caught them in a cup

8. Named them “The Volturi”

9. Mixed up another Cykick CS cocktail (considered drinking a little of it myself)

10. Drank a Diet Coke

11. Sprayed the cup containing “The Volturi”directly, to satisfy my eradication energy burst

12. Sprayed the perimeter of the room, including under the nightstands & dressers again


Phase VI - Paranoia
1. Continue to check morning & night for evidence of bedbugs

2. None seen yet (approx. 10 days – knock on wood)

3. Drink some more Diet Coke and eat more chocolate as a preventative measure

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don't let the Bedbugs bite!

What does this:
And this:

Have in common?

I hate them both.

HATE them.

There are some who never use the HATE word—I use it sparingly myself.

When it comes to pickles and me, the word is appropriate. I tell people I am allergic to pickles—they make me break out in vomit. The smell nauseates me and they are banned from my house. If my children must have a pickle, they travel to a distance not less than six blocks from me and beg them, door-to-door.

I have found nothing I hate more than pickles—except maybe pickle relish. The smell of a hot dog loaded with mustard, ketchup, and pickle relish is worse than an outhouse at a chili cook-off on the 4th of July.

Something now tops my HATE list—bedbugs.

Several seemingly unrelated issues have occurred over the past few weeks. I developed an itchy rash on my left shoulder that traveled down my arm on to my hands. In addition to the red splotches I started breaking out in hives, daily on both hands and arms.

I thought the abscess under tooth #18 had caused some reaction run amok, but after a thorough examination by my dentist, Dr. Extraction, it was only three abscesses and a vertical fracture on the root causing the radiating jaw pain.

Next came the blood marks on the sheets—TMI, you say? They were odd streaks, like someone digging at their hives in the night, only I didn’t have any scabs to show for it. (Maybe you should skip that paragraph you just read if you have a weak stomach.)

Then—the weird black marks surrounding the outline of my head on my pillows and sheets. Like a bizarre police-chalk outline of a body, my upper torso imprint was a stark white contrast surrounded by black specks. My husband had a not-quite-as-vivid imprint on his side of the bed.

We blamed our new, twin CPAP machines (blog and photos to follow at a later date). A couple of nights ago, we spent our twilight hours in a not-so-romantic game of examining the shiny silver boxes with attached hoses for black-speck-spewage. When we tired of that pastime, we checked each others’ ankles and calves for scabs to explain the new blood streaks across the bottom of the bed.

The bloodstains seemingly came from nowhere.

I covered my face with a tissue as I slept, hoping to catch some black ash as evidence. I blew off the tissue in the night, but “LO!” when I dug the tissue clump from the floor beside my bed I had an epiphany!

Here is a picture of the epiphany:

Ugly, isn’t it? Let me describe it to you: a mass of bed bugs scurrying in their own defecation to hide in the seams of my once-lovely pillow-top mattress after glutting themselves on my tasty blood.

The hives and rash on my arms: Allergic reaction to the myriad bed-bug bites on my upper torso

The black specks surrounding my head: Bed-bug poop trails

The red blood streaks on the sheets: Spots where we rolled over the little blood-engorged creatures as we slept.

Eeeeew!!!! Do you itch all over? I do!

So if you hate pickles, like I hate pickles (or something equally disgusting to you)


Bedbugs are worse!!!

Aren’t you glad I shared this?

Have a great day!