Category Archives: True Stories

First Invasion of the Year

If you’ve been to this blog once before – I’m sure you’re aware of my extreme hatred of palmetto bugs. (There’s a whole chapter in my book dedicated to my traumatic critter experiences…) I do not know what it is – I must emit pheromones that are appealing to palmetto bugs or something because they are drawn to me like a moth to a flame.

For those of you who aren’t from the south and/or may be new to the blog, I’ll just give a quick re-cap on what a palmetto bug is…

A palmetto bug is a cockroach. Not just an ordinary ‘cockroach’ though. It’s OH so much more. It is a cockroach, on steroids, straight from the pits of the darkest most vile parts of Hell.

I should point out, too, that these show up any and everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re house is impeccably clean.

They are ginormous. In a quiet room, at night, you can hear them walking. That’s right – they are so huge – you can hear their footprints. In case you’re new here, yes, I hear footprints. Not footsteps. It’s what I do…They can get up to 3 inches or a more in size.

And they don’t run or scurry away when the lights come on. They stop, dead in their tracks and stare you down.

Burbs Close Eyes Staredown
Sometimes they charge – right AT you – and lemme tell ya…

They’re FAST.

Faster than you can believe Doctor Who
Research shows that the fastest recorded speed of an American Cockroach is approaching 2.0 miles per hour (75 Centimeters per second).

You can’t just smash ’em with a shoe. No sir. That just ticks ’em off. You can’t just step on them either. You have to step on them, press down hard as you can and then twist your foot back and forth several times. And even then, lift your foot ever-so-carefully because they still might not be dead. (However, I have recently learned if you can flip them on their backs – with nothing in their reach, like near a wall or cable or something, they’ll die because they can’t flip over. Note to self: Look into purchasing holster for carrying around canned air.) If you haven’t mashed ’em enough, when you lift your foot – they gone!

As you may have surmised, I have a lot of experience in dealing with these beasts from the underbelly of earth… I was once able to contain myself and keep composed when one came within my field of vision – however – a few ‘incidents’ that took place, over the course of several months, forever changed my ability to remain composed.

It began the night I awoke from a deep slumber, to one walking across MY FACE. Still, I was able to see one without freaking out too much.

Then one walked across my leg – in the MIDDLE of the DAY.

Then when I got up in the middle of the night – half asleep – to use the bathroom – Thank the Lord I turned the light on that night because I usually don’t – there was one on the toilet seat. When he saw me, he looked up, from the magazine he was reading, and gave me a “Do you mind? I’m busy here…” sort of expression.

Then one FLEW RIGHT AT ME. Yeah. I know, right? This was when I first learned that they can FLY. Incidentally, this was the same night my sons learned how loud their mother can actually scream. It eventually landed on my bed, which has FOREVER scarred me because up until that night I was under the impression that they were only able to get on my bed if a bed sheet or blanket was touching the ground. Nope. They can fly and land on my bed! shuddder

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the night after we’d had our entire yard treated for bugs. Mainly fleas and ticks because of our children and pets. The palmetto bugs decided to retreat indoors to get away from the treatment that was put on the yard.

It started around midnight. I heard one. It was on the lampshade of the lamp on my nightstand. I scooted in the opposite direction, toward where Tom was sleeping, when – wait for it – it FLEW at me causing me to scream, scale Tom’s slumbering body and sit on my dresser on the other side of the bed ALL at the same time.

The scream caused the beast to retreat toward the vent next to my nightstand – where Tom could not reach him. That’s when the hives showed up. And for some reason, I always get a hive on the pad of my right thumb. It puffs out, turns red and itchy. Tom was having no luck finding the roach, so I apologized for waking him, told him to go back to bed, tried to calm myself and sat back down on the bed.

That’s when I saw one walking up the wall at the foot of our bed. I froze – not sure what it was going to do and not wanting to wake Tom – looked around, slowly, at what was within reach – and saw my hand lotion. I shot lotion at it. Nailed it, eventually, and knocked him off the wall. But, I was now out of lotion.

So, I went into the bathroom to get something else I could shoot at one if needed – the mousse. While I was in the bathroom, I saw one crawl up the wall of the shower.

He was up near the ceiling. Too high for the mousse.

I grabbed my water pik water flosser. Turned it on and shot it at the bugger. Chased him all up and down that wall and ceiling with the water. Got him.

Now soaking wet, had to change my clothes.

Sat back in bed, mousse in hand.

Saw one on the table. Moussed it
Then another on the floor. Moussed it
Another. Moussed it
Another.Mousse
Another. More Mousse
Another.And more

I spent the better part of that night with mousse in one hand, a flashlight in the other, standing in the middle of the room – slowly turning so I didn’t have my back to any one part of the room for any length of time. It’s a wonder I didn’t bore a hole right there in the wood floor…

I tried SO hard not to wake Tom, but after the 5th or 6th one invaded, it became increasingly difficult. He got up at one point, cleaning up piles of mousse, with cockroach centers, between the bed and bathroom. Came out of the bathroom, cleaning up the new piles of cockroach filled mousse that I had made while he was in the bathroom.

It was like Johnny Horton’s Battle of New Orleans because they kept-a comin’

♪♫ Year twenty-thirteen almost made me flip
Even with Tom theBomb – I completely lost my grip
I grabbed some lotion and prepared myself for torture
Then killed evil beasts smack dab in middle Georgia ♫♪

♫♪ I shot lotion at ‘em but the roaches kept a-comin’
There’s now twice as many as there was a-while ago!
I squealed some more and Tom began a fussin’
“Piles of mousse everywhere, thos’ve got to go!” ♪♫

♪♫ We looked all around the room and see’d the buggers come’
There musta been a hundred of ‘em, shoulda seen my thumb
Tom was holdin’ in his ire, that wasn’t hard to tell
My cries drove him up the wall, and really gave him… Well… ♫♪

♫♪ I doused ‘em in mousse but the roaches kept a-comin’
There’s now twice as many as there was a while ago
I squealed even more and Tom was still a fussin’
“If I don’t get some sleep, I’m really gonna blow” ♪♫

We have an awesome bug man now and we rarely see any of these beasts. If we do, it’s usually right when he’s due to come back.

The other night, shortly after midnight, I was finishing up posts for the following day before going to bed when I was descended upon.

It came from behind, grazed the top of my head and landed RIGHT ON MY KEYBOARD with a THUMP!

I slid back so fast I almost fell out of my chair. I looked around and there was NOTHING. There was no mousse. No lotion. No tape. No superglue. I was backing away – slowly – toward the kitchen when I noticed a bottle of OFF! next to the back door.

I moved toward it and as I did the cockroach moved off my keyboard. I sprayed it. It ran, I followed it – spraying it over and over and over and over and over while it ran and ran and ran and ran – until it finally started freaking and running in a circle. I grabbed a small plastic bowl and covered it.

The bowl started to move and uhm, I wasn’t having that. So – I ran into the office and grabbed the duct tape. I taped the bowl to the floor and sat there, somewhat pleased with my work of art. A bowl, with a big giant red “X-Marks the Spot” over it.

Then I realized that because of where it was, Tom wouldn’t see it in the morning when he left for work and that’s just not cool. I didn’t want to deal with it all the next day and decided I should make Tom aware of it – somehow.

A note?

A sign?

Well, one time before – when this happened, I let Jigsaw tell Tom for me:

Saw Jigsaw cockroach sign

This time, I looked around for a paper, pen – anything – that I could leave Tom a note on. Didn’t really find anything useable, plus – where would I put it so he’d see it?

That’s when I noticed there was duct tape in my hands. Hmmmm….
Grabbed the scissors, sat down and wrote a note I was sure he’d see:

cockroach note IMG_2496

 

Along with some arrows that lead to the X that marked the spot of the showdown.

IMG_2497

IMG_2498IMG_2499

 

And then a message. Since I’ve been saying, for some time now, how much I want a puppy – I thought I’d point out that a puppy would be cheaper than therapy.
IMG_2502

IMG_0022

The very next day, the bug man called to schedule a visit to spray our house. Pretty good timing if you ask me! (And I still haven’t gotten a puppy…)

Messages for the Impulsive Child

Whenever I leave the kids home, alone, for a bit, I’ve told them they’re not allowed to use the stove or oven or anything like that. The other day, I had an errand to run that had me gone about 30 minutes. When I got home, Brinson had turned on the stove to boil some noodles. He saw me, and the look on my face, and immediately said “I wasn’t supposed to use the stove…”

He’s so impulsive, he just doesn’t stop and think.

So, yesterday – when I had to run an errand – I reminded him of the rules while I’m gone and then left some reminders for him in case his impulsivity got the better of him…

For the stove:
2014-05-01 12.54.05

 

For the oven:
2014-05-01 12.54.11

 

For the knives:2014-05-01 12.54.18

 

For the toaster oven:
2014-05-01 12.54.39

 

For the toaster:
2014-05-01 12.54.46

Sheep on a Train

Thanksgiving 2008, Tom and I were supposed to go spend the week in Virginia with my dad. Plans were – somewhat – changed at the last minute when Tom got a promotion. The kids and I still wanted to go, so my dad paid for round trip tickets on the Amway Train. (Yes, I know it’s actually Amtrack, it’s malapropism – deal with it.)

Tom put us on the train in Atlanta where we traveled all night and arrived in Fredericksburg around 8:30am. For the most part, the boys slept. I dozed some, but not real soundly. Mostly I read.

Then the Monday after Thanksgiving, we came home – still traveling all night – and arrived in Atlanta at around 8:30am on Tuesday morning.

On the return trip, when our seats were assigned to us, they had me in a seat behind the boys and not next to them – which I didn’t like – so we leaned the seats back and all three sat in the seats where the boys were assigned.

There was only one other person in any of the seats directly around us, but it was clear the other seats were occupied. The occupants just happened to be elsewhere on the train.

Well into the evening, or morning rather, around 3am, two of the four occupants, two black women, returned. Stating the race of someone when telling a story isn’t something I usually do, because 9 out of 10 times it’s inconsequential. This time, however, the fact that they were black is pertinent. Of all the people in the train car we were in, we were 3 of the 7 people who weren’t black.

So anyway, they returned to the train car. They reeked of alcohol and couldn’t walk without stumbling or running into someone or something. Their seats were across from where the boys and I were sitting.

Apparently, alcohol is served on the train in the snack car.
I did not know this.

When they got to their seats, they didn’t sit down. One of the ladies decided to stand in the aisle and lean on the seat she was assigned. Then they proceeded to do what every person who gets stupid drunk does. They started talking smack. Mostly it was the lady in the aisle smack talking.

Smack talk that was filled with language so colorful it hurt my ears.

Smack talking, filled with colorful language, in front of my kids and LOUD. The boys were asleep, but they could have woken at any time. Especially with how loud the lady was…

A couple times, a person or two from the back of the car yelled out for them to sit down and shut up. This only got the one lady to become louder and and then express her disgust with a fellow black person trying to shut her up. From there, she decided to give a speech educating everyone within earshot on all the wonderful things Obama was going to do for her… As if the foul language wasn’t enough to make me sick…

In times past, it’s been pointed out to me that when I want to speak up about something – but don’t or can’t – for whatever reason, I get fidgety. More so than usual. Most of the time it’s my leg. It bounces – fast. Tom can always tell when I’ve had enough and don’t plan on keeping quiet any longer. When I get like that, he puts his hand on my leg and gives it a very firm squeeze. Which, it usually works. It sort of ‘grounds’ me. However… Tom wasn’t with me.

So, I was fidgety. Very fidgety and getting more so as she went on.

With every foul word that came out of her mouth, I winced and my body physically contracted. I’d glance over at the boys every once in awhile to make sure they were still asleep.

How they slept through that I’ll never know…

I’d considered getting up and finding a conductor, but if I did I’d have to leave the boys or have to wake them up and take them with me. I was just sort of stuck. So, there I sat, praying she’d shut up soon and go to sleep, still wincing with each colorful word expelled from her mouth.

She noticed my wincing and discomfort.

She looked down at me and said “You got a problem?”

I was sitting there, already having a hard time keeping my mouth shut. It was extremely hard for me to begin with. Her asking me if I had a problem didn’t help.

The *only* reason I hadn’t said anything up to that point was because the boys and I were alone. Plus, you never know what a drunk is going to do. I didn’t want to risk anyone getting violent.

She’s still looking at me and says “Well, do you?”

I looked up at her and said “Yeah, I do. I have a problem with your mouth, the words coming out of it and the fact it won’t shut up.”

She said “Oh, you don’t like the bad language? Your babies are asleep. They can’t hear me.”

Of course, I’ve cleaned up what she said. It was more like “Oh, you don’t ******** like the bad ******* language? Your babies are asleep. ******. They can’t ***** hear me.”

I said “No, but I can.”

“So.” she replied “Why does it ******* matter to you? ******* you.”

And then I’ll never forget what she said next.

She said “I bet you voted for McCain. You voted against Obama. Didn’t you?”

I said “What difference does it make who I voted for? You, your extreme foul mouth and disrespect for those around you has nothing to do with the election. I have a problem with you and your mouth. I could not care less about who voted for or against whomever. This is about you using filthy language in front of me and my children and how you need to stop.”

“Yeah. You voted for McCain. Not Obama. There’s not a ********** thing wrong with my saying ******** or ********. You can either go find a ******** conductor or you ********* need to get the ******** over it.”

So, that was pretty much all I was going to put up with from her and her mouth. I had to make a decision. Wake and take the kids, or let them sleep? I decided they’d be okay – sleeping, trusting that someone would intervene should she or anyone try and hurt the kids. At this point, waking them would probably scare them.

I went down 5 train cars before I found a conductor. I told him what was going on – as I turned to go back to the boys because I didn’t want to be gone any longer than I had to be.

He got up, put his uniform coat on, and followed me.

I got to my seat, said “This is the lady…” while pointing her out.

The conductor made her and her friend get their stuff and escorted them off the train.

As they left, every person in that train car started clapping.

That made her more mad – and she threatened me. Which, was stupid because after that she had a permanent chaperone until she was off the train.

When we arrived in ATL I had a couple people thank me for getting the conductor because they were tired of listening to her smack talk too.

But, to this day I have yet to figure out how if you don’t like foul language it means you voted against Obama… 😉