Monthly Archives: October 2007

Bed bugs

box elder bugs

these nasty little critters are all over the house, they are swarming over the window screens, lounging by the front door cracks, trying to get in, camouflaging in trees, and hitching a ride into the house when i walk by. they are such a pest at this time of year, and there is nothing to do. you can squash them, which is messy, or vacuum them and release them back into nature, from where they will inevitably plan their reentry into the house. they are everywhere – i found one in my bed, dead. i imagine i killed it when i rolled over it. i found other walking across the carpet. yet another floating in my tub.

oh the joys of country living.

as much as these box elder bugs annoy me, i think i prefer them to the stench of dead mouse that permeates the guest room. the poor bugger probably died in one of the heating ducts. the smell is indescribable.

oh the joys of country living.


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Time goes

Yes it does. This week I achieved much, but still am not ready the conference I am heading to next week, had a health scare (for the canine princess, not myself), recovered from scare, went to 2 fabulous yoga classes and said goodbye to the lovely PB for a week.

I hate it when he leaves, but so goes our life. At least I get to stay here a few more days, in the gorgeous Oregon countryside, wind and rain swept as it has been this week. Most of the leaves are on the ground, making it a dangerous place. Some of the walnuts are still on the tree, but not many – making that place safe again for the princess. She got bombarded a few times and I fear she may never step under its enormous branches again.

And I have been bombarded myself, by thoughts of my friend Planet, who got married this w-e last year, and died less than 4 months later. One year since I last saw her – a strange anniversary indeed. Time flies, and for Planet it disappeared.

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Blog action day

I  read on Charlotte’s web ( that the issue du jour is the environment  ( on that note, Congrats Mr. Gore), so here goes:

TRASH: I am horrified by the amount of trash I produce, so I am recycling as best I can.  I live in a big field, so kitchen scraps (of the plant kind) get thrown out into the field.  The deer and mice appreciate it, it focuses attention away from the grapes, and eventually becomes nice mulchy stinkyness for the princess to roll around in.  I try ot buy in bulk and bring my own bags to the supermarket, I buy recycled printing paper (but not loo paper, as Charlotte does – I cannot subject myself to that – and I am going to assume Al’s with me on this one) , and drink my Britta water out  of a big orange nalgene bottle I refill at will instead of buying and throwing away millions of small plastic bottles.  I restrict my consumption of coffees in paper cups, I reuse plastic storage bags (for bread and lettuce), read newspapers online (except the Sunday NYT – doing a crossword online just isn’t the same experience), and return plastic wrappers and hangers at the non-toxic dry cleaner we go to.

I am equally horrified by the amount of cans the lovely PBs reliance on  carbonated drinks produces.  He does what he can  to take them to the recycling, but when I see the mountain of cans outside the kitchen door, I do worry.  About the planet and his intestinal tract.

FOOD: I am an omnivore, but a conscious one who shops as much as possible at the farmer’s market, I try to buy local, and if that’s unavailable, then organic.  I stay away from food that’s got too many additives and unnecessary corn products in it (this has significantly reduced the number of ice-cream, yoghurt and butter brands I can choose from – I dare you to read the ingredients list of your dairy products…).

NON-RENEWABLE FOSSIL FUEL: here I hang my head in shame.  I live on top of a steep, large hill.  I can’t walk or bike anywhere, so I drive.  I have a fuel efficient car (by American standards) but it’s not a bicycle or a Prius. And I don’t like being cold, and I live in a drafty poorly built farm house, so even with my Uggs and three layers, I  probably squander much of the fuel that heats this house, barely.  And I fly, a lot.  All the water bottles I have saved  carrying around my own bottle make wil barely make a difference to the size of my carbon footprint.

Depressing isn’t it?  But we have to start somewhere, and I hope that before we drown oursleves in oceans of garbage under a toxic cloud of airborne pollutants, we will by force of goodwill and ingenuity  have figured ou a way to undo some of the damage and start returning the planet and its inhabitants, human and animal, to a more balanced, mindful and sustainable way of life.

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2 evenings of culture

went to a rather lame modern dance show in the big city yesterday and a rather good movie in our little village today. the local 8 screen cineplex is having an “international” film week – tonight we saw “Moliere” – I loved Fabrice Luchini and the divine Laura Morante. Moliere himself (Romain Duris) was less enthralling, but the script was lovely – a delicious play on his plays. BalletLab was less delicious – downright stridently painful at times (the music was atrocious) and the lighting was, for want of a better word ” &ss”. some of the intricate puzzles the dancers made with their bodies were lyrical, less so when they played with the props. And Clyde Common, a new restaurant, was ok, but not all that. And so very loud. Maybe I am just getting old and cranky.

Oh yes, and I did some work. Not enough, so it’ll be a busy w-e…

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Day 8 – maybe it’s time to stop counting?

especially since i skipped a day.

But in all honesty, I didn’t keep a diary on a daily basis(eons ago when I used to keep a diary),  so how am I to fit daily blog entry into my action packed days ?

Am toiling and thinking of the intro to the book – I am in percolating mode: I think, I scribble, I read – but I do not write. It will all come tumbling out soon, tomorrow I hope, but I feel obstacles in my way. There’s one chapter that I need to address, and problems that could take a minute or three days lurk in between its lines. Daily progress on a written piece of work are not always visible daily – which is the infuriating part, and makes it sound like I am just making excuses now. But I swear time has not been wasted lately.

And in 30 minutes I am going to the gym, for the first time in too long. Surely that will loosen creative wheels? Yes it will, and don’t call me Shirley.

Shall return with reports from the treadmill and from the movies – lovely PB is dying for some popcorn and brain candy – why the last episode of Gossip Girl won’t do, I do not know…

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Day 7 – new moon on monday

well, not really a new moon, but i often have songs in my head and duran duran’s been visiting today, as well as house of love – loneliness is a gun.  not having morose thoughts or anything, but they randomly played on my shuffle yesterday.  one more way in which the past visits us.

ok – i realise the previous paragraph makes no sense, unless you are in my head.  thing is: i lost my best friend last february.  its been exactly 8 months ( almost – 2 days to go) and she is with me still and constantly.  grief is a weird thing.  it’s not just that it hurts more than anything you’ve ever experienced until then, it’s that it does not end.  i am not retching anymore or crying inconsolably while waiting for lights to turn at intersections (cliché maybe,but i swear its true – i don’t know why i cry more in my car than in my shower). but i am not “over it” – i ca’t imagine i will ever be “over it” – you can’t be over something like that.  i wouldn’t want to.  but it is a weird thing – you wade in it like a wet sock, like thick fog on a morning in merida – humid, enveloping, cloying, and when the haze lifts around noon, it doesn’t really, bc it stays in your head, and your sticky hair reminds you of the morning gunk, and no cold shower helps to get rid of the feeling.  sometimes it’s not so cloying, but more like a bright light. sometimes the memories are just happy thoughts, happiness that you welcome, even in the empty package it comes in.  but more often it is like that wet sock.

progress on book today?  nil.  but i did get 4 pants hemmed and a button sown on a favorite jacket.

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Day 6 – just starting

The wonderful PB is in California this w-e, and here is a picture of what he bought for me :




Some of you may think that the man who loves you would surely buy you something more glamorous than than sudafed, especially if he’s in So Cal.

But you would be wrong.  Because if you live in Oregon, and you get a bad cold, which congests your nose,  makes it impossible to breathe and makes your face hurt – you would not be able to get any help in an Oregon pharmacy. They do not sell any product that contains pseudoephedrine without a prescription.

You see, Oregon has a slight problem with Meth – its usage and its production – and it turns out pseudoephedrine is a key component in its production.  So if you wake up on Saturday morning in the middle of Oregon with a stuffy head and blocked nose, you better have a doctor handy, or you’ll be waiting till Monday for the real relief.


That is, unless you have a wonderful PB like mine – who buys you some in CA and saves your life.

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