A Simple Look at a Not-So-Simple Life

Archive for the category “Ugh”

Why I’m On a Murderous Rampage (Of Sorts)

I’m not sure if it was the bananas, the apples, or the cantaloupe that the fruit flies hitched a ride on to get inside my house. At this point, it doesn’t really matter. All I know is that what started as an effort to get more fruits in myself and my children, ended up with an infestation of the annoying little gnats. They reproduce faster than dust bunnies and piles of paper – and in my house, that is saying a lot!

fruit flies

It’s my own fault, I guess. I made the mistake of ignoring them at first. After all, there were just a few of the tiny little invaders. Once the fruit was put away, eaten, or thrown out, they would disappear too, right? Wrong. They moved in, invited their friends and relatives, and turned my kitchen into a partying frat house of fruit flies.

I’m tired of it! I set up a couple of little “traps.” They didn’t work. Anna had a blast sucking them out of the air with the vacuum cleaner. That helped for a little while, but before we knew it they were back in full force. I googled for solutions last night and came out fighting this morning. Right now my kitchen smells like bleach and Febreze. I’ve rinsed the disposal and the sink drain with bleach. I’ve scrubbed the sinks with bleach. I’ve scrubbed the counters with bleach. And the Febreze? Well, it should have been Windex instead, but I didn’t have any handy. The little suckers can’t fly with wet wings and the cleaner in it kills them, so I soak them down when the light somewhere and then clean them up. I also have a bowl of sudsy water in the sink. Apparently they are drawn to the suds – especially if the dishwashing detergent you use is fruit flavored, which mine is – and they end up drowning.

I’m normally a tenderhearted person when it comes to critters. I’ve been known to catch bugs – spiders even – and set them loose outside. I rescue earthworms from sidewalks and roads to keep them from drying up and dying when the sun comes out. It broke my heart to have to kill a snake in my yard a few weeks ago – until it was confirmed that it was a poisonous snake. Then I knew it had to go. (Okay, I have to confess: I didn’t kill it. I couldn’t; not just because I’m tenderhearted, but because I was scared of it. Let’s just say that I’m very thankful for friendly, helpful neighbors.) I don’t kill things unless I have to. However, ticks, fleas, flies and ants in the house, and roaches are all on my “I’m going to have to ask God how those particular creations could be called ‘good’” list and therefore will be killed immediately until I know God’s answer. And now add to that list, fruit flies. Kill those critters! All of them! Now!

If you have secrets for the successful eradication of fruit flies, please pass them on – just in case my bleach/Febreze/suds routine fails me. These suckers have GOT to go!

*Note: I was going to get all preachy and use fruit flies as a metaphor for those things in life that if we ignore them, they multiply and make life all yucky. But it is Saturday and a holiday weekend at that, so I didn’t. Time to get out and have some fun! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, Everybody!


Pediatric Night Clinic

It was our first visit. Our doctor, who happens to also be our neighbor who sometimes makes house calls, was tied up in a board meeting at the hospital tonight. Emily, who had seemed to feel pretty good all day, woke up from a nap coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Three hours worth of coughing, as a matter of fact. Nothing worked – not cough syrup, not her inhaler, not drinking various fluids, not sitting in a steamy bathroom. Even though she wasn’t having problems breathing, I could tell she was beginning to feel panicked. Quite frankly, so was I. So off we went to the Evening Pediatric Clinic in nearby Sparkle City.

I groaned inwardly when I walked in. There were a number of people already waiting. It looked like it might be a long night. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t. I think we waited about a half hour before being called back. The nurse was fabulous with Emily. We were shown to our room – the Green Room. I kicked myself for leaving the magazine I had been reading in the waiting room. I thought I would need it to entertain both myself and Emily. Wrong again. The nurse had not even finished before the doctor came in. He was quick – thorough, but quick. We were in and out of the clinic in about an hour. We usually wait longer than that for a scheduled appointment with our regular doctor!

Since Emily developed pneumonia out of nowhere last year, I was afraid of what we might hear. Good news: her lungs are clear. “Probably wouldn’t be much longer,” said Dr. Ralph, “if she didn’t get started on medication to clear her head congestion.” The bad news: a double ear infection. Ouch! As has been the case with her (many) previous ear infections, she had shown no clear indication of discomfort. I’m glad we got it diagnosed. Hopefully she will feel much better once the medicine is in her system.

I’ll probably make another trip to the doctor tomorrow with Rosemary. I came home from the clinic tonight to find her almost in tears with an earache. She feels rotten. Ian is making the most improvement. He seems to feel pretty good, even if he is still coughing a lot. (Poor guy. It’s tough being the only one who feels good in the house!)

As for me, the coughing that plagued me earlier in the day seems to have let up some tonight. It has been replaced by a drippy, drippy nose and throat. Oh, and my ears hurt, too.

Have I mentioned that this has been a really, really crappy week? If I can pick out any silver lining at all, it would be that next week is spring break in our school district. Maybe we’ll all be well enough by then to have a little fun. I hope.

Not Necessarily the Answer

Forgive my ranting. I just needed to get this out of my system!

Okay single friends out there – don’t you get sick and tired of people suggesting – sometimes subtly and sometimes directly – that your life would be better/easier/more fulfilling/filled with more opportunities/healthier for your kids (if you have any) if you were married? You know, I’m quite aware of the special challenges that my special family brings. I know all about the juggling act between work and home. I know what it feels like to be the odd (wo)man out at more couple-oriented events. I know these things – really!

However, because of my own past experiences I also know what it is like to have to cater to a spouse the same way I do to my children. I know what it’s like to have my self-esteem and confidence shot through the shredder every single day. I know what it is like to be embarrassed to have friends and/or family over to my house. I know what it is like to constantly have to intervene between my daughter and her father because of his lack of patience and understanding. I know what it is like to wonder how much money will be in the checking account at any given time and what new ‘toy’ might have taken the place of the grocery budget. I know what it is like to get knots in my stomach when I drive in the driveway of my own home, wondering what mood will greet me when I walk in the door.

Marriages, when they are good, are among the greatest blessings of life. Unfortunately, not every marriage falls into that category. In fact, it seems that a pitiful few do. But believe me, well-meaning folks out there who would like to solve my life’s challenges with a man, being single – even a single parent – is a much better, much healthier state of life than being in a bad marriage. So unless you know a particular man whose personality would compliment mine, who would encourage me in my life’s vocation, who would love my children as if they were his own, who would partner with me in every aspect of life – please keep your ill-formed opinion to yourself!

Okay. I feel a little better now.



I was waiting in line at a fast food restaurant at lunch today when the man beside me said, “It sure is a beautiful day out there.” Surely it was. Cloudless blue sky. Sun. Light breeze. Slightly warmer than frigid.

He went on to say that he was from a Midwestern state and would be moving here this summer. He was visiting, looking for farmland to purchase. “Oh, what kind of farm?” I asked. “Crops, cattle, horses?” He told me that he was a ‘general’ farmer – a little bit of everything. He’s farmed for years and his family owns a farm outside of a city in the state just north of here, about an hour or so away. I’m quite familiar with that area. It’s one of my favorite places to visit and I told him so.

This is where a seemingly innocent, friendly conversation went sour.

“Whole place is going to hell,” he growled. “Damn tree-hugging, homosexual-loving, pagan, ultra-liberals are taking the place over.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather. How had such a pleasant conversation turned so ugly in just a few seconds? Yes, this city is different from most. It’s a bit Bohemian, very diverse, very green, very accepting, and very artsy. That’s why I love it. Do I stick out like a sore thumb when I walk the streets of their downtown? Probably. Still, I love it.

I was momentarily speechless. That’s probably not a bad thing since nothing I could ever say would make a difference to someone like this. I silently thanked God that my order came up at about that time.

“You’ll have a hard time finding another place that displays God’s beauty as well,” I said quietly as I walked away, “but good luck.”


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