Monday, July 16, 2012

Bug Invasion

          So...I've been thinking lately that we just can't seem to get a break from weird, and a bit miserable, happenings.  I'll tell you the newest one here in a minute, but then I realized that these little and weird happenings are much better than trials that we could be getting.  I'd much rather deal with no air conditioning briefly, postponed house purchasing, a small car accident where no one got hurt, low cash flow, and the lastest adventure (swarming ants) then deal with say...a more serious accident, or a seriously sick family member, or any number of things I could mention.  So bizarre as it sounds I was very thankful in my prayers last night for our recent small trials.  I would much rather them any day.
       So here is our latest trial.  Swarming, flying ants invading our home.  Yep, that's right.

        It all started innocently enough.  "Ralphie" and I would play on the back porch and these big inch-long flying ants would occasionally come at us and I would smash them. They have huge pinchers and the last thing I wanted was for Ralphie to get bit.  I can remember getting bitten by New Mexico ants as a kid and it hurts and stings for a long time after.  Pretty soon though we start finding a few in the house and, like, you know, 5 instead of 2 outside on the porch.  So I tell "Charming" to get some bug spray for us to take care of them.

        It takes him a few days and finally he gets some.  He sprays the back of the house's perimeter then decides he will spray our bedroom sliding door too since the few days before this we'd seen 5+ in our room.  Well, I was downstairs helping Ralphie with something when Charming calls from upstairs, "Uh...Sandy?  Can you come up here?

        I kind got scared from the sound of his voice and asked, "is it gonna freak me out Charming?"

         "Maybe."  He paused and then said, "actually maybe you shouldn't come up here."
        Yah, right, I was right around the corner and almost I walk in and almost die.  There are like at least 50 ants crawling around on our carpet, walls, blinds etc.  And then I'm like panting crazily, cause I seriously have bug nightmares all the time and this was like a nightmare come true.

        And with a guilty look he says, "it's worse."  And opened the sliding door blinds. 

       I seriously almost start hyperventilating.  There are literally HUNDREDS of these huge flying ants covering our porch.  Hundreds. Maybe even thousands...I was never good at guessing numbers.  And even weirder they are like in clumps.  I only have a cell phone picture of the first night, and it can't figure out how to get it on here...but anyway...

        Charming sprays the door and I texted my mom the picture.  My dad calls back and says Charming better spray the entire perimeter of the house.  So we head outside and he starts spraying.  I spotted our neighbor Kimberly outside and went to ask her about the bugs to see if she had a problem too...because if it was just us I hated to think what that meant.

         So I asked her and she tells us that it had happened the first year she lived here.  Her back porch was black it was so covered with them.  And that her pest control selling neighbor told her they migrate through here sometimes and land on the roofs.  And that usually they are high in trees when they migrate and so you never notice them.  But where we are there are no trees and her house at the time was the highest in the area.  So they landed on her house only.  She said she had to have someone spray the roof to kills them and it helped.  She also told us she had been seeing tons of them too...and that since we were the only two two-story houses nearby that's probably why it was just us.

         So Charming doesn't want to spray the roof and he says we'll just wait it out.  We vacuum up all the ants in our room and more and more just still keep coming in.  So I slept in Ralphie's room with him, refusing to have to worry about the bugs climbing on us or crawling into our ears.  Which I did dream of and had to keep getting up to check on Charming all night.  The next day they just got worse.  And the next day worse.  Charming still wouldn't spray and I still refused to sleep in our bedroom.

          About three nights ago or so it rained hard and I washed a bunch of them down.  Here is a picture of the ants after I had washed a bunch down already.

Then the next day after that there were even more than I had washed down.  Here they are on the roof flying, buzzing and falling in clumps.

 Here they are in  their piles in the backyard.  They are nasty huh?

 FINALLY it just got so bad in our room and on our balcony that Charming finally sprayed the room, porch and door.  And they finally all died.  Here is a pick before I washed them off last night.  They had blown into piles (piles at least 1/2 an inch thick)...just imagine these in clumps and spread all over the porch.  Ick ick ick!  I am iching just thinking of it.  Anyway, I think the poison helped and the worst is over...but seriously yuck!  Ugh!

(Charming's foot in an attempt to show the scale of the pile...this one was 1 inch deep in the middle at least)

The rain gutter as I was washing them out.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finding Ourselves

The other day on my personal facebook account I wrote this: “Living back out here I have found a huge part of me that started getting lost many years ago when we moved to WA :-) It's nice to have it back. :-)”

            But what does that mean?  And what part of yourself did you lose?

            Well, let me step back a second and explain something.  I was born here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Yes, it’s a desert.  Yes, it’s dry here and we have droughts year round.  Yes, there are few trees or lawns and we have rock yards full of desert plants.  But you know, what? I LOVE it!  I love it more than any other place I’ve seen or been to—in fact I prefer this.  

             Are you thinking I am crazy?  Probably, but have you ever been here to the “Land of Enchantment”?  There’s something about it.  Something that strikes a chord in most people who visit here, many of them afterwards wish to come back and live here—and many do!  Especially this part of NM...because there really are some ugly parts haha...

            Well, I spent the first 10 years of my life here (minus about 9 months that I lived in New Orleans as a little girl).  And I loved it!  We played outside all day every day it seemed like.  Our dog killed our backyard grass and so all there was was dirt, but my dad built us a cool damn and mountains out of the dirt and we would run the hose for hours making rivers and playing with our toys in it (as an adult I would love to know how much my parents water bill was every month haha).  New Mexico is hot—we often have a few weeks that are up in the 100s, but an average summer day is between 87-94—perfect.  And it’s not like 90 degrees would feel like in Louisiana.  No, it’s dry, there is no humidity, so it feels a lot cooler and you aren’t all wet and sticky.  I HATE humidity.  Denver was too humid for me even!  

            And the autumn in NM is GORGEOUS!  The beautiful cottonwoods (which are my favorite) the line the bosque and streets turn an amazing yellow!  Oh, you haven’t seen anything like it until you go down to the river and see the gorgeous blue haze of the Sandia Mountains hovering over the golden yellow of the cottonwoods on the Rio Grande river.  It’s breathtaking.  And the winters here?  Wonderful.  It rarely gets colder than the 30s/20s and we hardly have snow.  But we get enough snow to fulfill kids dreams of building snowmen.  And many days of the winter we don’t even need coats...just sweaters...and I LOVE sweater weather!

And the Sandia are gorgeous mountains...the sunsets reflcting on them are always pink...sometimes bright sometime pale, but that is where they get their name.  Sandia is spanish for Watermelon...the Watermelon gorgeous!

            I LOVE it here.  But soon after my 10th birthday in about April, 1997 we moved to a little sleepy, wet town in Washington state, minutes from the Canadian border and even closer to the coast.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Ferndale is a lovely town, with lovely people, and it’s gorgeous and green.  But the people there are different…the landscapes are different…the weather is different…and it rains…all the time.  In fact it’s a lot like that place Bella moves to in Twilight…gosh, I don’t know they name of the town (I've only read part of the first book and seen the movies each once), but it’s the same.  Only rainier than the movies show it.  I mean it rains ALL THE TIME.  Some machine in Seattle once measured how much sun shone through in 90 days (and that included little second bursts of sunlight through the clouds, however brief).  THREE HOURS.  That’s it.  Three hours total in 90 days.  Yuck.  No one dresses nice there either.  I don’t think this matters to most people and many times I think people would prefer it nowadays.  But when you wear a sweater and jeans to school and people ask why you are all dressed up…that’s a bit weird and kind of sad.  But when the average Ferndale student wears their pj bottoms or sweats to school, that’s what you get...I'm was odd I guess. 

And I really am not dissing on Ferndale.  I loved it.  It gave me many opportunities I would not have had here—especially where school is involved.  I have many dear friends and families there who touched my soul and brought a lot to my life.  But even through the fun and finding new loves, hobbies etc…over the eight years we lived there I slowly lost a part of myself.

And through college in Idaho, and our few years in Colorado, it completely vanished. Do I know exactly what that part of myself was?

Honestly?  Not really.  All I know, is yesterday while driving through the slopping mesa, under the bluest of blue skies, which the prettiest and most unique puffy white clouds, with a complete view of the beautiful Sandia Mountains from highest peak to lowest foothill, and listening to the Dixie Chick’s “Wide Open Spaces”, it hit me.  I had found a part of myself—a feeling I hadn’t had in many, many years. And suddenly I felt almost whole again.  (I say almost, because there are a few things I’ve realized I am missing in my life like music, singing, acting etc that I still need to add) but that is the closest to whole I have felt in many years…the most recent moments like before this where when I was 16 of 17, and they were very brief moments where I was living in a world of music and performance which is also a huge piece of my soul—that’s the part that is still missing right now.

But I think that driving through town feeling is one of the biggest pieces of my soul—of who I am.  And it sure feels good to have it back.  And I think, that I will make sure I slow down in life and remind myself of it.  That’s part of why I am writing this.  To help remind myself.  And to tell you, that if you are feeling anything but whole—like you are missing some part of yourself…go find it!  Keep searching!  Trust me, to make it through this crazy world of stress, frustration, disappointment, heartache (you name it) we need all of ourselves.  And I won't lie, it's a constant, constant battle, but it's worth it.