Tick Tock Tick
School starts tomorrow. That means today is Crazy Busy Day. Although I had a "to do" list a mile ling, there were not a lot of the tasks that could be accomplished at 6:30 AM. I had filled my belly with a Monster Energy Drink, wrapped several orders from online sales, written a shopping list, answered some mail and laughed at the local news of a crocodile discovered in the Kansas City metro area. This isn't exactly 'gator country. Post office wasn't open yet, and the girl-who-wants-to-go-shopping was still sleeping. I took some food out to the critters, and noticed how unruly the lawn had become. Cloud cover had dropped the temperature, so I figured I could give it a quick buzz cut. (Just 'cause a lawnmower amputated one of my fingers, they don't scare me.) It is really quite a pleasant task. There are immediate, visible results of the effort. The smell is pure heaven. The delicious thrill I got from executing several hundred grasshoppers in a hideously torturous way will set my karma back a notch or two though, I bet. (I really dislike bugs.) The quicker ones leapt out of the way at the sound of approaching death-on-a-blade. But those who are slow, weak, or not limber enough to do the lawnmower limbo became fertilizer. Apparently a few of them sent out a clarion call to their insect brethren moments before their demise, to avenge their execution. I do not speak bug though, so I was unaware, until retribution was exacted. When I was finished, I stepped back and admired the freshly-shorn grass. It was lovely. I came in and showered, and by now, the girl-who-wants-to-go-shopping was awake. And nagging. "Come on, Mom," she moaned outside the bathroom door. "OK, OK, I'm just washing my hair......what's this?" I felt something on my head, which was neither scalp nor hair. "M-ahhhhh-m." "Just a minute, I've got.....ack! I've got shampoo in my eyes and something on my head." "Can I at least come in and go?" Trying to retain my eyesight, I am drenching my face with water. "Glurp, glub." She took this to be an affirmative, and entered. De-sudsed, I step out, still feeling around on my head for the not-hair-not-scalp lump. I see a momentary shiver cross sweet-sixteen's face at the vision of her dripping 52 year-old gene donor. "Can we go? Your hair will dry in the car. There's a sale at the mall that is only good for the first hour. Come o-o-o-o-n." I temporarily postpone the head hunt and get dressed to placate her. I know she is nervous about the first day of school and wants to find just the right thing to wear. Brushing my hair, I feel a snag, and poke around with my fingers again. Ah-ha! I grasp with fingernails and tug. Then tug harder. Release! I lower my hand to see a fat, wriggling tick. (A moment for all you city folk to go "ewwww!" Out here on the farm, it is commonplace, and one of those things you just get used to after a while. Did I mention how much I dislike bugs?) "M-ahhhhh-m. Come on, I want to oh my God you're bleeding!" Indeed. Dislodging a tick that has sucked all of the blood in your head to the surface to gorge on, causes quite a gusher. Especially with blond hair. I looked like an extra in a Wes Craven movie. Still holding the tick firmly between my fingernails, I turned on the hot water spigot full volume. (I can just hear my karma bucket emptying). Down the drain it went, a steamy trip to the septic tank. There is probably a mutant batch of bugs living in there, plotting to take over the world. Meanwhile Daughter had gone to the medicine cabinet and retrieved gauze. I have a vision of us marching into the mall looking like Revolutionary War soldiers, with her playing her flute and me with my head swathed in bandages, determined not to shoot the credit card out of my purse until we saw the whites of the sale tags. Fortunately, I am a quick clotter, and soon the spot was daubed and dried. We were determined to proceed, succeed and not bleed. Daughter is now also shorn, her hair cropped in a snappy new 'do, and we found a spectacular outfit. I mailed out many packages, answered questions, and sent out notices. Tomorrow a new day dawns. Please Lord, let it be bug-free.