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Carrie Elle

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Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Safe to Say I Am Sick of Scorpions.

I am so sick of scorpions.

I even promised myself I would stop blogging about them. 

But I can't.  The Scorpion Nest we reside in is almost so unbelieveable that *I* can't even believe it, and I live it every day.  And that is why I must share the latest Scorpion Escapades.

Someday, my memory will be foggy or I may be lucky enough to live in a place that is scorpion-free and I will think back on this house and wonder if I imagined it all.  Or maybe I will tell my children tales of the scorpion-kind and they won't believe me (because seriously...who has THIS MANY SCORPIONS IN THEIR HOUSE!?).  Won't it be nice to direct them to this here blog, pictures and all, to verify my stories. 

So anyway, here it goes.

As you know, the Orkin Man came out earlier this week.  Oh, what a welcome sight he was as he pulled that big old cannister of poison out of his little white truck.  And what high hopes I had as he left us a stack of sticky bug traps ("We won't need those, they are all going to be DEAD!" I thought).  And how I disregarded his comment about how the scorpions might be "mad" and we might see a few the first few days after he sprayed ("Mad? Who cares if they're mad as long as they die!").

It didn't take long to see our first survivor of the Scorpion Apocalypse.  Not long at all.  And guess where I saw him?

On my shoulder.  In bed. 

Yeahhhh...not the best way to wake up.  Of course, I screamed, ripped my shirt off and got lucky I wasn't stung.

Fast forward about, oh, 12 hours.  I am washing laundry that was on the floor of my closet.  I throw it in the dryer.  I return to take it out and find another one (stuck in the dryer vent, like the last one I found in the laundry).  But this one?  He was NOT. DEAD.  He survived a washing and a drying and was still trying to thrash around.  I took a picture of him and will get that posted soon (because I know that everyone wants to see pictures of half-dead scorps). 

At this point I am thinking that the poison actually has made them stronger and that we have mutated their race and created a special sub-species of Super Scorpions.

And oh, how I wish that was the last one I've seen.

But then there was this morning.

Half asleep, I feel something (think maybe I am even dreaming) tickling my cheek.  I open my eyes and see, quite literally out of the corner of my eye, something scampering around my temple.  I sit up and see it fall off my face...ANOTHER FREAKING SCORPION.  I start pulling back the pillows and sheets to look for it while hitting Charles and hissing "Scorpion!" at him (because as horrified as I am here, I do not want to wake up the sleeping child!).  We look for it, can't find it, and then Charles says, "Don't Move. Straighten your arm out slowly..."

I oblige.  The little bastard is climbing down my arm.  Charles flicks him off, beats him with a shoe, and sends him to the burial grounds (aka the septic tank). 

So, a couple of notes here.  Our beds (we have a king-sized bed and Jack has a full-size, and they are right next to each other) are on box springs on the floor.  They are not on frames.  They are also pushed up against the wall.  Apparently the Orkin Man said that having the beds against the wall can be a problem but WHO THE HECK DOESN'T HAVE THEIR BED PUSHED UP AGAINST A WALL???  And the first two times Charles and I were stung, both in bed, the bed was up on a bed frame, so it's not like this can be entirely blamed on having the bed on the floor.

This evening Charles pulled the beds back about an inch from the wall and circled them in Scorpion traps.  He covered the air-conditioning vents on the floor with plastic.  We stuffed traps in every corner of my closet.  A week since the house was sprayed, the poison should be kicking in now (Charles claims the last two we found were "not quite right" and appeared to be affected by the poison and dying slow deaths...ummm...yeah, I'm not going to agree with that theory seeing as they were both ON ME when we found them!!).

If this doesn't do it, I don't know what will.  I am just thanking my lucky stars that Jack has not been stung and that Charles and I have only been stung three times between the two of us. 

Join me in praying to the Bug God to remove his subjects from our house.'s hoping I do not ever need to write another post about waking up to a scorpion in my bed,

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

My New Boyfriend is Here Right Now! RIGHT. NOW.

And guess who my new boyfriend might be.

No, he doesn't actually *know* he's my boyfriend (I would be wary of any guy who gets into a relationship with a 31-week pregnant girl who is also married).  But I love him anyway.


The Orkin Man!

After three more scorpion incidents since the last one I blogged about (one involving Charles' back, our bed, and the middle of the night, one involving a scorpion corpse under the high chair, and one involving the bug trap in my closet) and one very frightening Brown Recluse spider incident (I caught one on my bug my CLOSET), Charles rang up our old pal The Orkin Man and he is here, spraying glorious bug-killing poion as I write this.

Now...I would normally try to avoid things like, you know, POISON, when I am pregnant and have a toddler and pets in the house...but I am also not too keen on being hospitalized for a Brown Recluse flesh-eating wound while pregnant, or comforting a scorpion-sting-suffering two-year-old.

So poison it is.  And I'll say it again: Die, BITCHES!!!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Scorpion Ranch, Part Five (this is getting old, fast...)

We have been training Jack to avoid scorpions since he was eighteen months old.  I am proud (very proud) to say that all of this training seems to be sinking in.  The two main rules of scorpion-avoidance are: DON'T TOUCH and TELL A GROWN-UP.  Sort of like a "Stop, Drop and Roll" for dangerous bugs.

So the other day, Jack comes running up to Charles and telling him that "the scorpion got the spider!"  Charles asked where the scorpion was (sometimes it's hard to tell when a two-year-old is telling the actual truth, or just telling us about some great fantasy he is currently living in - I mean, I *know* when he tells me that a giant monster truck got a fish out of our pond and a tow truck had to come rescue it that he's telling me a little story...but when he tells us a scorpion and spider are fighting, the line between reality and fantasy is a little's certainly possible that a scorpion and spider were fighting in this house).  So Charles followed Jack to the scene of the Scorpion/Spider battle and there was, indeed, a scorpion (maybe the spider crawled off to die somewhere?).

YAY for Jack alerting us to the whereabouts of a scorpion. YAY for Jack for not touching it.  And YAY for ONE. MORE. SCORPION. GOING DOWN.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Country Roads...Take Me Home...

I talk a lot about the walks I go on and I realized these last few days that it's very possible my walks down these country roads might come to an end sooner than I had thought. 

For one thing, it's getting hot ("hot" means 85 degrees to this perpetually overheated pregnant lady).  I don't know how much longer the decent weather will hold out, and I can tell you for sure that I won't be traipsing around in 95 degree weather down a hot stinky road (yeah, the parts of the road that are actually paved reek of melted asphalt when it gets hot) dodging grasshoppers and snakes when I am nine months pregnant.  It's possible that we might sell our house soon and by the time I am ready to start walking again, we will no longer be here and I'll instead be walking down sidewalks and under streetlamps rather than down dirt roads and under oak trees. 

This past week has been especially beautiful.  75 degrees, breezy, blue skies.  The kind of weather that reminds me of California.  So I decided to take my camera and capture my walk (camera = iPhone that crashes constantly and had a dirty lense which resulted in much frustration on my part and blurry pictures, to boot).  I had planned on editing the pictures in my favorite iPhone app - Instagram - and making them all pretty and bright so my walk would look *extra* exciting, but that was not meant to be.  My phone is two years old and apparently the bug that Apple implants in all phones to self-destruct when they turn two years old so their owners will be required to buy a new one has been activated.  So, no fancy Instagram pictures to make my walk look better than it really is.  Just the real deal.

Here it is, from start to finish (minus my panting and wheezing self, of course). 

This is my driveway (well, actually I was about a 1/4 of the way down it already).  It bears noting that it takes me like ten minutes to walk down the driveway and get the mail.  Much, much longer if I take Jack.  The little brown head in this picture is Janga, my trusty walking buddy (mostly trusty...I enjoy her company until we see a rabbit or something else of that nature and she tries to pull me off my feet to get it - amazing how much torque a 55-pound pitbull with a bunny or squirrel in her sights can produce!).

This is a part of the road we walk down.  Most of it looks a lot like this.  This is all very nice when it's shady and cool.  Not so nice when the sun is directly overhead.  The little black blob in this picture (and probably a few more to come) is Cricket.  Cricket was a "dump dog" - when we first moved out here someone dumped an emaciated mother dog and her ten mange-ridden, hairless puppies (TEN!!!) and we rescued them.  Hundreds of dollars later the dogs were well and we found them all homes.  We kept Cricket, but a couple of years ago she deserted us to go live with the neighbors who let her sleep on the couch and feed her sandwiches.  So I really don't consider her "our" dog anymore, but she does occasionally join us on our walks.

I kind of feel like I might see a leprechaun running through this pasture when I pass it.  That would be neat.

Another potential leprechaun hiding place.  If leprechauns lived in Texas, that is.

I love this pasture.  I walk past a ton of trees and there is suddenly this little opening in the trees and I get to see this pretty picture.  There are some really nice horses who live here and enjoy it as well.  The other day they were down by the fence so I picked my way through the brambles to go over and visit with them.  They are actually pretty fancy and nice to look at, and within seconds all seven of them were pushing up against the fence to get scratches.  This was all fine and dandy until one particularly pretty palomino mare decided to start kicking the tar out of everyone around her (as in, making some serious contact) and they all started tripping over each other and trampling each other trying to get away from Evil Mare.  A few of them of course went into the fence (barbed wire) and I thought, "Oh, shit, this is what I get for trying to visit with the pretty horsies!" and I pulled Janga away from the fence.  As I looked down I realized I was standing in a bunch of suspicious-looking green plants that immediately brought to mind the trailriders/hikers mantra, "Leaves of Three, Let it Be" and again thought, "Oh, shit, am I stepping in Poison Ivy?????"  It all turned out ok.  Horses returned to grazing peacefully and I, as of today, do not have any weird/itchy rashes on my legs.  Yay.

Lots of sky and pretty clouds blowing in the breeze this particular day.  As Jack noted, "Clouds are movin', Mama!"

This lovely landmark tells me I am about 1/4 of the way done with my walk.  And also reminds me that I do, indeed, live in rural Texas.  This has been there for about 6 months now.  I was hoping to see how long it would take to biodegrade.  In case you can't make it out, it's an empty case of Coors Light on a reflector.  Nice, right??

This fellow poked his head out of the bushes and surprised me about halfway through my walk.  He had a harem of lovely ladies laying at his feet, actually.  They were enjoying the nice day as well.

I think the lense was foggy (hence the weird blue streaks) but I wanted to include this one anyway because this road (which I never take, too creepy and isolated to walk by myself) has great memories for me.  I used to ride down it (feels much safer on a horse) and one day when I was pregnant with Jack (in the late summer), Charles and I walked down it and saw, literally, hundreds of fireflies flashing all around us.  I have never seen anything like it since.

Thistle!!  You know, like Eeyore eats!  I don't think I had ever touched thistle before.  I expected it to be...prickly, I guess?  It wasn't.  It was soft and I was tempted to bring some back to see if the donkeys would eat it.  But then I would have had to carry it for 30 minutes and that did not appeal to me (I have, on occasion, brought "treasures" back to Jack - a golf ball once, and an actual heavy metal hook another time...hmmm...maybe I need a fanny pack.  Ha!).

Sorry, snake-phobes.  But this is a daily part of my walks.  Today, the little bugger was dead.  The previous day?  Not so much.  It is kind of sad, these are harmless snakes, but I really, really, REALLY don't like putting my foot down and noticing a half-second too late that I am about to step on a snake...harmless or not. 

Trotting along, on high alert for squirrel sightings.

This is our driveway again, from the other end.  The homestretch!  Cricket is patiently waiting for us.  I am reluctant to leave the shade ( was 75 degrees out but my pregnant-self feels about 10 degrees warmer and I was sweating at this point). 

So there you have it, my friends.  I am sorry to not have more wildlife pictures for you (one of the reasons I wanted to take the camera that day was because I had come across armadillos, a skunk, several snakes and a pasture full of llamas in the last week and thought surely I would run into more of the same on this beautiful day, but I guess they were all in hiding). 

It is a beautiful place, most of the time, and I will miss it.  Please remind me I said that in about, oh, two weeks when it's 90 degrees outside and I can't even make it down the driveway!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Scorpion Ranch, Part Four

The cats were meowing at me...relentlessly....the other day because they wanted food.  I went out to fill up their bowl and found this little visitor (dead - I am assuming the cats had something to do with it, but then again, they do not have a history of scorpion-killing so who knows).

How does a dead scorpion even get into a cat's bowl??

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Friday, May 6, 2011

The Scorpion Ranch, Part Three

I just wanted to share these with everyone.

I found this lovely little carcass in the dryer a few weeks ago.  Which is really great when I realized that the load of laundry had gone straight from a basket to the wasn't even like I was washing laundry that had been sitting around on the floor!

Then, last week as I sat down to breakfast, my scorpion-spotting eyes spotted this little bugger climbing up the wall.  Yep.  It's exactly what it looks like.  A giant scorpion climbing up the wall next to my breadmaker.

So there you have it.  More scorpions (no longer able to reproduce as they are DEAD) around The Scorpion Ranch.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's 4:45 AM, What Are YOU Doing??

It's 4:30 (AM).  I have been up since 2:00 (AM).  I am supposed to wake up at 6:30 (AM) for work.  Yaaaaaay.....

Jack woke up around 2:00 trying to get into bed with me and when I told him to get into his own bed (which is RIGHT. NEXT. TO. OUR. BED.) all went downhill from there.  "I neeeeeed Daddy!" he screamed (as in, actually screaming at the top of his lungs).  See, he knows better...sad to say it, but six-month-pregnant-mama isn't likely to get out of bed in the wee hours of the morning unless the house is on fire (or there's a scorpion in our bed) and Jack knows this.

So Daddy got up.  Carried him all around the room, rocked him, bounced him, tried telling him stories...for about an hour.  Then I tried, but my technique is lacking (Me: "I'll hold you Jack, but I'm not getting out of bed because my back hurts" Jack: "Nooooooooooo!"). 

Finally - after nearly two hours of screaming and crying, he starts telling us his tummy hurts.  At this point I am wide awake (and thinking really unpleasant thoughts about the work day ahead, which involves an extra long commute and lots of being nice as we are putting on our annual charity golf tournament today).  I figure if his tummy really does hurt this bad, maybe a hot bath would help.  So I offer a hot bath and within seconds Jack is chattering away about his "special night time bath".

So, the good news is, it worked.  He stopped crying and cheered up and even let loose a few pretty man-sized farts in the bath (so maybe it really was tummy trouble...??).

The bad news is...well, do I really even need to elaborate on that?  It's 4:45 AM!  I'm awake.  I'm watching Chuck's Big Air Dare.  I'm six and a half months pregnant.  I have to "wake up" in less than two hours so I can spend an hour and a half in the car driving to work.  I'm TIRED!!!! (I know, waaaaaaah waaaaaaah waaaaah...).

On the plus side, Charles is asleep (I sent him back to bed once I realized there was no chance of me going back to sleep) so I plan on taking a NAP when I get home.

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