Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fighting through the bog

I'm in a very dark spot right at the moment. This happens a lot, and it never gets any easier to deal with. Basically, it feels like I'm waist deep in a bog, still sinking, but trying to fight for each and every step. I know there's other people around me, but right now I'm as alone as ever. No one can take the steps for me, I have to do it myself, but right now I'm tired. I just want to lay down in the bog and let the mud take me.

I'm surrounded by successful people, and I'm really tired of that, too. All around me are people with great jobs, great kids, a great house, great friends- all the things I wish I had but don't. I've struggled for years to find a way to teach, I'm pretty much resigned to giving that up as an unfulfilled dream. I used to feel truly at peace when I danced, but even that has been thrown away. I thought I'd finally found a way to make some money, but it's wound up costing a fortune because no one wants what I make. No one wants me around, and I really can't blame them. If I could get away from myself, I would.

I read a blog called The Bloggess. Sometimes it helps me feel a little better, sometimes not. One thing she says is that "depression lies." I don't think I agree. I think for some people, yes, depression lies. And when you come out of your funk and realize that things are not all bad, you know that you're one of those people that depression lies to. I'm not. When I come out of my funk, everything is still the same and I'm as useless as ever. The only thing that changes is that I can ignore that fact a bit easier. So, for me, depression doesn't lie, it just puts reality into sharp focus.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Surrounded by wilderness

Obviously the weather has started to cool off, which has resulted in an increase in the scorpion population coming inside and making themselves at home. Thankfully, they're not the only ones who are celebrating cooler nights!

We managed to take the dogs for a walk this morning, much to their utter joy and delight. When we lived in the suburbs, they got a 5k walk almost every day. Last summer, there were days we had to walk before 7am, but we did it! This year, on the farm, a few things have gotten in the way. There's a lot of work that needs to be done, so most of those before 7am starts have be dedicated to that. Also, we have to drive several miles to get to a walk-able area since our neighbors don't seem to understand that they need to fence in their attack dogs. They even attack the car as we drive down the road! Trying to walk our dogs on our own road is not just frustrating, it's actually dangerous. But that's a problem for another day.

So today, it was 20C (I got used to metric measurements and Celsius temperatures in New Zealand, and switching back has proven to be hopeless) at 7:45am- positively chilly! We decided to drive to the next road, where we tend to take the dogs because it's a quiet farm road. The people who live on the road are actual farmers who have free roaming cattle, which means their dogs are safely fenced in close to their homes. The only thing we have to be vigilant for are snakes, but that goes without saying anywhere around here.

We were chatting as we walked, and I noticed the vulture sitting on the power pole. We like the vultures. They're hilarious when they hobble around on the ground, stunning when they play on the breezes, and let's face it, if it weren't for them there'd be a lot of dead things around.

Almost to the place where we turn around and head back to the car, there were several cows hanging out on the road. Cows are funny animals that I really haven't been able to make my mind up about. On one hand they're freaking huge! On the other, they run away as soon as you look at them. I'm not sure if I should be wary of them or not.

We turned back and headed to the car. The one vulture on the power line had three buddies now. I was gazing up at them, thinking how quintessentially Texas they are, and when I returned looking ahead on the road I was a little startled by the... Well, that's one of the issues of having poor distance eye sight. There was something in the road, but I couldn't tell what. Steve, on the other hand, has excellent distance eye sight, but he hadn't spotted it yet. "Deer!" he spotted it.

Sure enough, a doe standing in the middle of the road, fairly far in front, watching us. She obviously decided we weren't too much of a threat, because she continued across the road, followed by a very small fawn, a slightly larger juvenile, and another doe.  I'm afraid I made the "Awe!" sound.

We made it back to the car, and started home. Running across the street were six wild turkeys! TURKEYS! I have no idea why this strikes me as so amazing, but TURKEYS! And a few more deer. There are lots of deer. And now apparently, TURKEYS!

It was a nice change of wildness from scorpions to deer and turkeys. I much prefer deer and turkeys to scorpions.

Tomorrow, the dogs will have to suffer the lack of walk again. The plan is to knock down the old worn out chicken coop to prepare for the new one. Whatever has been pooping in there will get quite the surprise!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hidden Talents

I've been stung by a scorpion a total of 3 times, and had the stuffing scared out of me by...well, I've lost count of how many times, but it's a lot.

Steve's been stung twice, but they don't freak him out so he hasn't had that gut wrenching, all over body shiver of ultimate fear when face to face with evil spawn.

Last night, at 2:38am, there was a knock on our bedroom door and my son announced that there was a scorpion in his bed. This has been a point of pride for him that he'd never had a scorpion in his room. It appeared, however, that his second point of pride was still intact: he'd never been stung. So, I sent Steve the Slayer of Evil to go send the demon beast back to the oozy black pit it came from. Except when he went to kill it, it was already dead. Belly up in the middle of the bed, dead. Ceased to be! It's metabolic processes were history! Kicked the bucket! An ex scorpion!

We couldn't quite figure out how it had gotten in the bed if it was dead. Reanimation? Zombie scorpion? My son thought it was hilarious that the one scorpion that found it's way into his room was dead. Slowly I woke up enough to form questions, "How did you know it was in your bed? What woke you up?"

Him: "It was crawling on my leg and brushed it with my foot. I thought it was a prickle."

Me: "A prickle? Did it sting you?"

Him: "No. Well, my knee kind of hurts where it was crawling."

I looked, and sure enough, there was the red mark where he got stung. So I got him a bag of ice, told him to hold it on for a bit, and go back to sleep. This morning, you wouldn't even be able to tell he'd gotten stung.

Apparently, most people have fairly severe swelling, aches, and feel like they have the flu for days following a sting. My family? A few hours of minor discomfort. My panic attacks are the worst part of the ordeal for us! Not only that, my son kills the damned things in his sleep!

I'm not entirely sure what the implications of this are. Possibly the scorpions need to send out the word that this is no longer a good place for their late night parties. There's a new force to be reckoned with, and we're deadly to evil arachnids! It'd be nice if they'd spread the news of the change of tides of power to their minions: spiders. There's plenty of space that they can use away from the house. Just don't bring your raves here!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Everything's bigger in Texas... especially the bed bugs!

I am so tired. I didn't sleep very well last night, and this morning it feels like someone smeared oatmeal over my eyes. I don't even like oatmeal!

Last night was like any other night, and we went through the same routine we've kept for months since moving to the farm. I brush my teeth, wash my face, take my nightly medicine, then while Steve's brushing his teeth (our bathroom is so small that when we both try to fit in there we are both pressed against opposite walls, someone has a toilet jammed in their knees, and the other has a towel rail in their back- I can't wait until we can redo the bathrooms) I get the black light flash light and check all the nooks and crannies for scorpions. Oddly enough, the weird colors that glow from the dog bed (it's actually a bean bag with blue flames that glows awesomely), the random neon dog toys strewn about the floor (starting to notice a pattern here), my crystal skull on my night stand, and our favorite- toenails! If you ever get a chance to observe your toenails in the light of a black light flash light, totally do it! They look alien.

Anyway, the routine was the same, right up to looking for but not finding any scorpions. So, we climb in bed and read on our e-readers for a while. And yes, we've read the same articles you have about how awful it is to read on an e-reader before sleeping, and we've decided it's a load of piffle. Our sleep has never suffered for reading on an e-reader before bed. Besides, mine's not back lit, so I have to keep the light on whilst reading.

I finished my chapter, turned off the light, and settled in for a lovely night of peaceful, restful, renewing sleep. It had not been a great day because I had to go grocery shopping and it was the first day of my "lady's week," so I was feeling a bit out of sorts. Just as we settled in, Steve says, "Ouch! Something poked me! No, wait..." He then thrashed around for a bit trying to reach his bedside light, froze, and said, "Turn on the light," in that super serious "there is evil among us" way.

I turned on the light and sure enough! Giant scorpion in bed going, "I had a bad dream, can sleep with you guys tonight?" Well, he's sleeping with the fishes now. Not really. He's actually flat and in the garbage. Poor Steve; even after being stung on the foot, he's the one that had to get rid of the demon pest because I'm physically incapable of getting that close to the damned things. I did get him a bag of ice, though. I'm a good wifey. (Fuck you spell check, "wifey" is totally a word.)

The damage was done, though. Every shift of the bed sheets, every gust of wind or slightest noise sent me into a panic that the scorpions were taking over and were coming to take me away for some nefarious purpose. Every dream was laced with pain and horror. Then, sometime around 2am, I started having lady cramps which made sleep even more difficult and the dreams even worse. I sat up several times during the night, grabbed the black light, and scanned the entire room. Steve's pretty groggy this morning, too. Not only dealing with a sore foot, but a bat shit crazy wife. Honestly, I think his boss needs to meet me to see just how much crazy he gets to deal with on a daily basis.

That, and the scorpion overlords that have apparently made our bed their fortress.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Evil creeps in

So, last night I wondered down to our bedroom for something and when I came out I noticed something laying on the floor that was roughly scorpion-ish. I'm paranoid about scorpions after 3 stings and multiple close encounters, and have decided that I hate them with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I turned on the light bent down for a close look, and was confronted with a feather. It was a feather on the floor. This is how deep my paranoia runs.

So I flicked the light switch again. When I did so, however, two things happened simultaneously: movement and pain.

I experienced a sharp stinging sensation on my middle finger. This is not unusual. A previous owner, in their impeccable interior decorating taste (that's sarcasm by the way, it's sometimes hard to tell in writing) stuccoed the interior walls of the bedrooms. The outside of the house is covered in stucco several inches thick, the interior is coated in stucco; I'm afraid when we finally remove it, the house will be so light it will blow away!

But the movement. It wasn't that I saw movement exactly, more like I felt the presence of evil.

I turned the light back on, and AAAAHHHHHH! THE FUCKING SCORPION WAS ON THE LIGHT SWITCH! It was swinging it's tail around and flexing it's claws like, "HI THERE, FRIEND!"
I truly loathe them.

I screamed, as denoted by the "AAAAHHHHHH!" above. Steve came down the hall with a jandal (flip flop) to squish the offending beast since we've discovered that the scorpion "kills on contact" sprays do not, in fact, kill on contact and the demon bugs can remain fully capable of world domination for several minutes. Steve squashed the demon beast, but then held the shoe there for and extended moment. It was that moment that he realized it was positioned over his desk and that if it dropped, it would land under his desk and he would have to crawl around to fetch it since there's not chance of me doing it. He found a bit of paper and positioned it under the jandal (flip flop) to catch the remains of tiny monster. This is when we found out that deep treads on scorpion crushers (aka shoes) and thickly stuccoed walls result in a pissed off, but otherwise undamaged, scorpion. The damn thing was still waving it's tail and flexing it's claws singing, "SURPRISE MOTHER FUCKERS!" Steve squashed it again, but the only change was that the scorpion sang out, "Try that again, Mo Fo, and I will take that flipper (scorpions have no clue) and beat you with it!" Third time was the charm, though, probably because Steve leaned all his weight on it and wiggled it around. I'm pretty sure I heard a crunch, but I'm still not sure if it was the scorpion or Steve's shoulder.

In the end, the body of the Overlord of Evil did fall behind Steve's desk, and he did have to crawl under to retrieve it because that's just how evil they are. Even in death they have to get the last evil word in. No wonder the spiders look at them in evil awe.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


We have begun the demolition of the arches in front of the house!

So excited!

 We thought we'd start on them because we needed a job that had a small price tag after spending $7k on mini split units (so worth it by the way! Not only are they more efficient, quiet, and we have  unit in each room, but they do heat as well as cool so we won't freeze to death this winter). Unfortunately, the dry rot and insect damage inside the arches is so bad, we'll need to fix them sooner rather than later. Bum.
These posts aren't really giving much support.
Wasps nests, termite damage, and dry rot. Oh my!
Yeah, you really don't want it to look like that. 
The good news is that the condition improves the further up you go. When the guys installed the split units, they had to knock some pretty big holes in the ceiling of the porch to feed the pipes through, so we've got a pretty clear picture of the state the house is in. There's a lot of wasps nests, but no rot. That's something at least!
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it!

 That's me, tired and dirty. It's exhausting work, but there's something oddly satisfying about slamming the side of the your house with a sledgehammer!

It's still getting too hot to work for very long outside, though. So, we also decided to test some paint colors in the lounge/kitchen.

Purple in the kitchen makes it feel regal. 

Green, grey, and black in the lounge. Believe it or not,
the black ceiling makes the room seem bigger!
We still need to get the actual paint and do the full job, but I'm looking forward to having color in my world again. We've been stuck in beige rental properties for so long, and it's always driven me slightly insane.

Mentally/emotionally, I'm not doing very well. I'm very angry (possibly why the sledgehammer is so appealing!) and I just can't seem to get motivated to do much of anything. It's highly frustrating. There's lots I should be doing, I'm sure, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Instead, I've been taking naps again. I'm fully intending to get my blood work done, and then drop my medication level again. I've also cancelled the appointment I had with a new endocrinologist. I found out he was in the same office as the last one, and I just cannot face that fight. Just thinking about it makes me tired. So, I'll just keep powering through and hope that something shifts soon.