Archive for the ‘Bugs’ Category

incursions

I suppose it had to happen eventually.  The deer simply could not take it any more, not one second, no sirree.  They’ve been somewhat restrained, but let’s just say we are now markedly flowerless and top branchless in the vegetable garden.  The fencing in the back was a bit crumpled as well- we’re thinking that’s where they jumped out.  The Partner is busy, as we speak, arranging a more formidable bank of deer fence and netting.   The little darlings ate the purple silk off our corn, too- probably washing down the potato flowers.  I have often thought, seeing their seemingly infuriated (judging by depth) hoofprints outside the fence, that one day there’d be a deer who would not be deterred.  It’s interesting in a way to review the various pestilential scourges we’ve endured here.  Veritable Legions of flies!  Not to mention: The ants! Swarming through the yurt at 3 am in the days when we were still sleeping on the floor.  The crickets! Stuck in the insulation and singing their hearts out between 3 and 5 am.  The scorpions! Just…never mind.  The snakes! Gah.  Then there was the LOCUST INVASION.  Indeed, I think it was just last year but who can remember for sure?  We were driving up Highway 5 from the bay area, and there were literally so many grasshoppers flying through the air we had to pull over in order to sluice the windshield off so we could see at all- there was a viscous muck all over.  I struggled with myself over a couple who’d been obnoxious, rude, and bad drivers, in a BMW convertible with the top down.  Part of me thought:  Finally! Just deserts.  The other part thought: EWWWWW.  Nobody really deserves that.

Then again, what DO we deserve?  We had a dual head explosion the other evening, the Partner and I, upon learning that in essence, the U.S. has paid for Israel’s dome of iron or whatever it is missile defense system.  Meanwhile, there are many of us here in this country who could really use some freaking help.  How is it that this country can give billions away to Pakistan and other places, and a great many of its own citizens are living in poverty because the corporate entities on whose behalf the whole thing takes place have moved their production and business elsewhere, excising  jobs with surgical precision.  I ask you?  I also found myself shrieking a bit incoherently when I heard a CEO say that US corporate tax structure had to improve or they’d all go somewhere else where it was “fairer”.  The corporate entities in this country may APPEAR to have a large tax burden, but wait!  There’s more, because in every area those taxes are offset by loopholes and rules and things that mean, essentially, these large corporate entities PAY NO TAX AT ALL.  Take Pfizer, for example.  Those poor, poor, devoted people slaving away to provide healing for the world- so what if their profits are in the billions.  They simply should not have to contribute a thing more.

It’s hard to know how to proceed.  It is true that if you want things to change you have to experience said change.  This involves challenges and shifts in behavior.  Nobody really likes this.  I think it is fair to say that the Partner and I have for the most part put our “money” where our mouth is.  We live simply (to put it mildly).   We eat local food- of which, sadly, there will be less because: DEER.  But that only introduces us to the fact that life is always changing, it is not going to be the same, and that applies to everything across the board.  The whole system is so skewed right now that it almost seems no part of it can remain for positive change to happen.  For example.  We don’t eat much meat, but we do eat it from time to time.  We haven’t been eating beef because….well, because it doesn’t taste like beef anymore, and God knows what’s in it or in what horrendous circumstances it existed.  We even live in a place where cattle are raised; still we can’t get any decent meat for the most part.  We went shopping yesterday and in a moment of throwing things to the winds, actually bought a small steak.  From New Zealand.  This is hugely against everything we usually do, but apparently that atavistic longing for STTTTTEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKK was overpowering.  The thing of it is, the steak was wonderful.  It tasted like steak, wasn’t astronomically expensive, cooked like a real piece of meat.  But how can it be that we must buy something from another country, a long way away, to get something decent?    Especially in view of the fact that they’re probably eating US meat in New Zealand- trade agreements and all. This is precisely the sort of stuff that must change immediately if there is to be any hope for any of us.  I for one would like to see a world for people and not petroleum.  I would like to see a world where human beings took their proper position in the world- not one of domination but one of cooperation coupled with self reliance.    The world gets very small at times when what is both reasonable as well as unreasonable is discarded and what remains is placed out of reach.  Decisions can be hard to make- or else any ability to make and act upon them is so remote as to be moot.  In any event, we’re having vegetables for dinner- our deer don’t eat chard it seems, but we do, so it’s all good on one very small level.  Now, for the rest of the world- remember? Think globally, act locally.

There IS always a way, and this is important to remember right now.  We can do this.

Ant Correction

The Partner found some ERRORS and OMMISSIONS in the last post.  SO FINE.

Number One.  The ants are 3/8″ long.  Not 1/2″.  Let’s just get that straight, shall we?

AND.

Number Two.  There were more ant casualties than I cared to contemplate, apparently.  The Partner was vacuuming when the initial siege was begun.  Therefore, he was standing at the door armed with a Shop Vac, and wielded it in a fearsome manner.  This wielding of the Shop Vac happened last year too, and I suddenly was seized by this thought:  The ants are probably back in their living area, and the older ones are telling the youngsters about the awful, horrible, fearsome sucking wind monster that lives over in the Blue Place.  Don’t ever go over there, they’re saying sternly.  Only the Strongest Ant ever can do that and we’ve decided not to allow our noble ant brothers and sisters to sacrifice themselves ever again.   The young ants are nibbling their feet and shivering at the thought of the fearsome sucking wind monster, even in this heat.

198 Degrees

You know you’re screwed, Gentle Reader, when the NOAA weather site has an orange picture for the day’s weather, and simply says HOT.  None of those fluffy clouds against a blue background pictures that give you hope (however ill founded) that you might make it through the day without boiling over.

So, yes, summer’s here.  The insulation and shade cloth structures that The Partner set up are working but.  But.  With no shade, their effectiveness is greatly lessened.  So once again, happy yurt people: If you’re building where it gets hot? Station your yurt under shade.  Insulate.  Get the dome opener- I was really surprised to see that this is listed as optional.  It is really a must.

Meanwhile, the lizards are getting fat.  There was a sensational blue belly out last night, and we gave him rousing encouragement to keep eating ants.  A few days ago, while I was in the laundromat being treated to an hour of the Star Spangled Banner being whistled, along with the assertive attempt (repelled, in my case- you have to draw the line at times) at distribution of Important Baptist Tracts, the Partner had his own, somewhat biblical episode.  Ants, marching about two inches abreast, heading right toward the front door in a moving line with no end in immediate sight.  No fooling, no messing around, those guys meant business.   Think of the coordination involved.  Really, it is impressive, even if not anything you want to see heading toward you.  Fortunately, last year we did, as you may recall, buy a lifetime supply of diatomacious earth, which came to the rescue once more.  The exchange the Partner and I had when I returned from my own set of the labors of Hercules was typical:

Partner: Wow. It’s been fun around here since you left! (heavy inflection of sarcasm)

Me: Oh? Did it rain?

Partner: (Looking at me squintily as though I’d lost what few wits I had left-) NO.  NO IT DIDN’T RAIN ARE YOU NUTS? IT’S 90 DEGREES AROUND HERE.  NO.  BUT I ALMOST GOT EATEN BY ANTS.

Me:  How dreadful! It rained in town- really, it did.  It did too!!! Just in time to get the laundry wet while I put it in the car!  But it was hot enough in the car to dry everything out by the time I got here!  DID YOU REALLY ALMOST GET EATEN BY ANTS???

Partner: YES.  IT WAS AWFUL.

He then proceeded to tell me the story of how he foiled this dastardly expedition of, probably, millions of ants each one of whom are about half an inch long- and these are the stinky ones too which is totally awesome on top of everything else.  I was, as  usual, very impressed- he is, of course, much more logical than I’ll EVER, EVER be, so he tracked the source of the outpouring and diatomacious earthed it.  Ants deterred without too much loss on their part.  I made him eat the chocolate bar I’d been going to save as a surprise for later, just because.  Winning a battle in the Ant Wars is Big.  Combining that with yesterday’s triumph of taking garbage to the dump and none of it leaking at all not even a little bit? Priceless. It doesn’t exactly fill me with giddy optimism but for today it will have to do.

 

Cows in High Dudgeon

There is a bovine across the road who is clearly Waaaaaay Not Happy today.  We’ve heard irritated moos all morning; I responded and there was a short moo-fest, where the cow vented heartily and I learned nothing. Our across the road/great divide/what have you neighbors raise their own beef cows and this one may have just gotten some inkling of its upcoming destiny.  Although on the whole, the cows around here seem rather calmly in tune with the way of things and exhibit a marked lack of stress or concern, who knows.  I often think about the whole business of eating meat, which means something essentially has to be killed.  Of course, you kill vegetables to eat them too, so it’s a rather large thing to ponder.

Today’s yesterday (there’s a concept) turned out better than yesterday’s yesterday.  A good thing.  Our antique dealing landlord came up with a splendidly eccentric dish hutch so now some unpacking will take place.  Leading perhaps to ….well,drains.  The bugs that ate my arms off turned out to be spiders.  This I discovered by paying attention to my arms which had swelled in large areas, were hot and hurt like the dickens.  I managed to do quite a bit of cleanup outside (the end of all the cardboard! yee haw) which included stuffing all the containers I use for my homemade mead under the yurt, pending future filling.  Finally my arms couldn’t take any more. I looked at them in horror, as the Partner helpfully remarked that it looked like I had tissue damage.  However, herbalist that I am, I crawled over to my essential oils and can report the following.  Lavender oil works, Gentle Reader.  An application of lavender to the affected roaring areas caused an immediate reduction in swelling, the redness turned into white nodule looking things shaped like X’s, which then subsided revealing the trademark two fang bite of the spider.  I’ve decided somewhat reluctantly to review my Spider Approach.  Usually I save them and put them outside when I find them.  NOT ANY MORE.  Wrestling with the implications of that but seriously.  Enough is enough. Now, on with our regularly scheduled program.

Under Maxfield Parrish Skies

Recent events have been keeping us busy, Gentle Reader.  This place is uncompromising, and uncompromisingly beautiful.  We’re still spending whatever mental capital we have (it’s been devalued several times of late) on keeping the yurt below boiling and the garden moving along.  Two out of three shade cloth structures up.  No hot water yet and we can’t figure out why.  Perhaps the flow is too high and the water temperature too low for the settings.  In any case, another mind bender.   Especially since I got the water heater (Takagi JR) on line.  If there is something wrong with the water heater I may just completely snap……In any event, I had a list of things to relate in case anyone reading this ever decides to DO SUCH AN INSANE engage in this sort of endeavor. First on the list of course, is

SHADE.  Don’t have a home without it.

Secondly, you can indeed power a regular size gas stove with a 5 gallon propane tank.  Regardless of the grim warnings you read about needing all kinds of extensive and expensive thingamabobs and it not working.  The thing you DO need, however, is a regulator on the propane tank itself.  We asked about this, specifically, when purchasing the natural gas/convert to propane stove we have.  The guy in Home Depot said, O, No No, there’s a regulator IN the stove, you don’t need a separate one.  Fine, we thought.  That is, until the stove basically had a small explosion and fire and I got to by a $112 part to replace…the internal regulator on the stove.  Which gets bypassed and defeated when you convert to LP.  Also, we had to find the right size regulator, but that was around $25, so not bad for initial investment had I ONLY KNOWN.  So, word to the wise, Gentle Readers.  Even if you DO live in the sticks where everybody and his dog uses propane?  Don’t think that means you’ll get a straight answer about anything to do with propane.  Or, possibly, anything.

I’m sure there’s more but it’s too hot right now for the hamster who’s powering my brain to run any faster, so no random access today.

However, we did have quite the special day Saturday.  After having been awoken at the pre-crack of dawn by huge water pump clanging noises (landlord hosing chicken coop.  Why? Someone must know.) and having just returned from a quick trip down to the Bay Area, my nerves were already on the tattered side.  So, when The Partner made several growly kind of HOLY SMOKES noises looking out the front door, I gritted my teeth in preparation for the next….thing.  Which turned out to be? A seven year old rattlesnake curled at the foot of our long plank entry way.  Long, long rattlesnake.  Perhaps not in the pink as it wasn’t as large around as it should have been for the number of rattles but then again?  All rattlesnakes are quite big enough as they are, thank you.  We’re a half hour from the nearest main road, so snake bite is highly undesirable.  In any event this guy was all, I’m here and I’m not moving.  It was pretty much not fun.  The Partner wound up having to shoot it.  I wound up taking half a xanax:  There are limits and I’d reached mine.  Anyway, it prompted all sorts of cosmic enquiry and soul searching about death, dying, how come?, SNAKES?, and self chastisement about being so wimpy.  I have resolved to do some target shooting just in case this happens again and The Brave Partner is elsewhere.  We put the snake down at the foot of our “driveway” since there are vultures and coyotes and foxes and what not, and it disappeared very neatly almost immediately.  The Partner pointed out that the snake, being firmly rooted in Reptile Brain, would have most certainly bitten me and with my particular constitution, that would have been all she wrote.  Also we have a quite astonishing crop of baby lizards for whom we feel some responsibility.  Nonetheless.   When we returned the ant poison we’d bought (“It kills the QUEEN”!”) because we just couldn’t do it, we did tell the girl in the hardware store we’d had to kill a rattler.  She said, first, ewwwww.  Scary.  Then, oh,  you must live up off Bowman.  This is a pretty large area and for her to pinpoint it like that gave me just a…small….stomach flip.  I mean, funny, but?  So, signing off from Apparent Snake Central for now.

And away we go…..

Having decided to try and write every day, I found myself with additional grist for the mill this morning.  The minute I opened my eyes I had a good sized panic attack.  I learned today that it is actually easier to have one when you’re lying down, because then on top of all the other miserable things that occur, you don’t also get the feeling of being in an elevator that’s dropping thirty stories.  In my practice I actually work with many people who have panic attacks, generally quite successfully.  Somehow I never seem to give myself the same attention but, heck.  The cobbler’s children have no shoes, etc.   Anyway, it does tie in to my general theme here, which is, How Did This All Happen?  Not just to me, but to all of us.  How do we continue to live so blindly and so mindlessly in the grip of…well, a friend in Spain told me this and it fits here.  Capitalism says, if you want something enough you can get it through hard work.  New Age spiritualism says, if you don’t get what you want, there’s something wrong with you.  Chekhov said: You do what you can do.

I don’t know how relevant my own history is, but let’s just say it has been one mind bendingly difficult thing after another, starting at Day One.  Things that sound hackneyed in a way: Abandonments, Suicides, Meager Resources, Being on One’s Own…etc.  It took me a long, long time to find my vocation and truly practice it.  I am grateful for that, although at times like these I think: $#!^.  Did I really have to go through all that?  The panic attacks started at the end of a long, long term of employment with an attorney.  Those of you who have done that? Probably need to hear no more.  When I started, the attorneys “my” attorney worked with were all looking for new assistants because their old ones had stress disorders and could not do the job any more.  Did this ring a bell for me? Not yet.  No, not until I got my very OWN stress disorder and ultimately no longer had the job.  I did, of course, have the panic attacks and nightmares and all the rest of it.   My doctor reckoned I had post traumatic stress disorder.  Gradually I pulled self together, continued my studies and launched my practice.  It was, actually, a success.  I found this surprising of course, but also it was profoundly wonderful.  I love what I do.  It does not, however, allow me to rake in the large sized dough.  I’m a pretty good healer and a terrible capitalist, as it happens.  So when, on that crummy January evening when my landlords zoomed up in their black SUV and told me I was homeless in six weeks, it was not a pretty picture.

The Partner and I had been looking for new digs for some time.  Preferably out of the city.  Turned out to be too right:  No one would rent to us there because we are both self employed.  So much for the work ethic, I guess.  As previously detailed here, we looked up hill and down dale fruitlessly and it was …unbelievable.   Then we found this spot, got the yurt, and embarked on what a friend calls, “a whole ‘nother Geraldo show”.

Fortunately I had read lots of books about homesteading, perilous journeys, and what not.  I knew, or I THOUGHT I knew, the difficulties we would be facing.  Decided I would be up to it somehow.  HA HA.  The number of things that went completely sideways was dizzying.  It rained constantly while we were trying to build, thus putting us way off schedule, and way off budget.  Longer storage fees, more motel fees for starters.  But, OK.  We forged ahead, built the yurt.  The instructions were insane and all kinds of things happened with that, too.  But we did it.  The first night we spent here there was the most intense thunder and lightning storm I’ve ever seen.  Did that have any meaning? We’re starting to wonder.  Perhaps it was spelling out “DON’T DO IT” in electric wriggles.  In any event, we went on to moving all our things (which as of today have all  been packed for seven months) out of storage.  The guy at the truck rental assured me that the size truck I rented would hold the contents of our size storage unit.  It will no doubt not surprise you, Gentle Reader, to learn that this was not the case.  So, OK.  One week til we have to pay another month of storage, and we think, we’ll rent a bigger truck, get the storage unit empty, and PICK UP ALL THE PLANTS.  Yes, the Plants.  Which were at a nursery. Since we have about 200 different kinds of plants.  I grow the things I use in my practice and products and the garden is crucially important.

Oh, the fun we had.  I arranged a pick up time with the nursery, rented the Big Truck, we drove car down to pick up truck which of course? Had to be picked up 50 miles away from where we were going for some unknown reason and also cost more because the new summer rates just went into effect.  Bells should have been ringing but mostly I was trying not to hyperventilate. So, OK.  We go get some plants that were at a friend’s house, do the final unload of storage unit (another Punch and Judy episode), and go to the nursery.  A bit behind schedule but nonetheless on time, before their closing hour.    Where, we find? They were CLOSED.  Closed, people.  Not open.  Padlocked.  The whole day.  I heard a noise come out of me that sounded like a howling wolf.    So that little episode cost me a few hundred dollars MORE, more over budget, and? The never ending story continued.  Nobody at the nursery would return my phone calls, several days went by and finally I asked a tactful and Very Professional and Impressive Friend to go by and see what the blue blazes was going on.  My best guess is there had been a romantic relationship that went sour but by now I really didn’t care.  So I got to rent another truck! Drive down and back to pick up my plants, spent oodles on gas.   But hey.  We’re done there, right?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.  It had of course been raining when we brought our household goods up here so we had to just stick them in the yurt and two storage sheds, and under a tarp.  No moving in in an orderly way.  So, OK.  BOXES.  Then it stopped raining and we thought, Oh, Goody.  We can set things outside when the mud clears up and organize our living space.  But.  It immediately started being well over 100 degrees every day and we are on a flat, unshaded spot.  We spent every available minute trying to keep ourselves from getting heat stroke and keeping the birds and plants alive.  You could’ve fried eggs on our floor.  OK, we thought.  Hang loose here.  Do the gardening and bide our time.   And that is when the Ant Wars began.  Right about the time it started being an average of 111 degrees every day.

Now, people will say they said it was hot here.  HOT? Hot is 95.  This place is hotter than Phoenix and I kid you not.  But ok.  We’ll deal.  Meanwhile, it’s too hot to do anything at all.  We are on hold on our final plumbing which means? We take baths outdoors in the stock tub we bought to use as a shower base inside.  It’s too hot inside anyway.  It’s also too hot outside, but whatever.  Everything has been more involved, more expensive, more unbelievable than even either one of us Cassandras would have imagined.  It is as though a giant hand is holding itself up and saying: NO.  So, we’re wondering Gentle Readers.  We’re wondering.  The whole world is in upheaval and maybe this is just a part of that.  But what does that mean? Really.  Meanwhile, The Partner just came inside with the jolly news that we are now engaged not only in the Ant Wars, but now? The Hookworm wars.  I ask you.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Wormholes

There’s a part in the movie, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” where  mention of a little towel propels someone through a freak wormhole.  I am now generally wearing a little, wet, towel around my neck because it’s so hot and it occurred to me that indeed, my perception that I’ve gone through a freak wormhole is probably correct.  Just like in the movie.

This morning we once again arose to Ant Armageddon.  Yes, we are in the country in a yurt.  But still.  The building instructions for the yurt were laughable.  Not funny, but laughable.  The skirting to which everything gets attached? Those instructions were left to the very end of the booklet.  When it should have been the first thing after building the platform.  Since the lattice has to attach to it and that holds the cable that holds up the fabric structure.  So, OK, fine.  Then, no mention made of caulking.  At all.  And,  of course once things are bolted down caulking is largely impossible.  See where this is going, Gentle Reader?  And, you would think, maybe, that being out in a rural area, people in hardware and feed stores would be able to offer suggestions and solutions for the various problems that I am sure everyone encounters out here.  But, if you thought that you would think wrong, buster.  These solutions are as jealously guarded as jazz riffs.  Sometimes it even seems funny.  We are on a 20 acre property and the guy at the feed store sells us a BAG OF ANT POISON, to be used outdoors.  What, exactly, can that do in this large an area.  But there we were, exhausted, and hey.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Of course it accomplished bupkiss and I am telling myself I learned something.  The next episode has involved diatomaceous earth.

We are now the proud possessors of what is probably a lifetime supply of diatomaceous earth, which it says right on the label is used for bug control: Fleas, roaches, ANTS.  Sprinkle it around, it cuts the exoskeleton and the creature expires.  Which seems awful.  I don’t like killing things.  But in this case I am forced to do just that.  So, anyway.  D.E. purchased, sprinkled…one night passed and things seemed OK.  But clearly, that is just like using poison outside.  This is a huge area and there are probably more ants here than there are stars in the sky.   You’d have to do aerial spraying of that stuff to have it work and then you’d kill  ALL the bugs and then…..clearly, not an even remotely acceptable solution.   So, NOW WHAT?

We are both feeling a bit like Something Is Happening and We Don’t Know What It Is.  How did we get here?  What the hell is going on? Sort of thing.   However our next plan of attack will be to go under the yurt, caulk with construction glue, fill the moats in the pier blocks with D.E., and resort to RAID on the interior perimeter.  Plus D.E. outside just because.   It is a question of getting the place off limits to ants, period.  Because they are attacking us just because we are HERE.  It’s what ants do.  They aren’t getting into our (sealed) containers of rice and beans.  They are just doing what they do: Advancing over all territory, scavenging.  After all, they do process everything sooner or later, the ants and worms and flies.  This is just basic reality, in other words.  To deal with this reality means setting up, in essence, a medieval fortress.  Moat (D.E.), bridge up (glue), armed warriors (RAID).

And then there is the philosophical question, unavoidably.  Whatever we do as humans, here in the 21st century, is almost certainly going against Nature to a greater or lesser extent.   We’ve irrevocably changed the climate and even the most moronic among us must be getting a faint glimmer of THAT.  We are so far out of harmony and cooperation with nature it ain’t funny.  What does that point to overall for our endeavors as humans?  We didn’t use the outside poison for the ants except on a direct anthill entrance.  There are so many lizards and frogs (one still unknown as to location from yesterday) and other bugs, praying mantis, birds and squirrels: We can’t interfere with them, and for the most part we’ve come to an understanding with everyone except the ants and the flies.  And the mosquitoes but that is another post.  Do we look at this as an allegory?  We can’t move them aside and I’m pretty sure we can’t conquer them, THEM ultimately being nature.  I guess the question is can we get around it, the roadblock of the ants and flies, and coexist on the other side in relative peace?  Can we get around basic impulse and the stupidity that so often rises in response.  That is today’s question.

The Mythical State of Jefferson

I have not forgotten you, Gentle Reader, indeed quite the contrary.  My intention is to write about this entire …..experience.  A Cautionary Tale of Sorts.  However until most recently the quotidian demands have been daunting to say the least.  Take today.  I had A Plan, having gotten through three items on my to-do list yesterday and clearing one from the week prior the day before.  Oh yes.  I was going to Start Writing.  Until:

Problem A.  Among the many other joys we’ve experienced in our stay here, are absolute masses of ants.  Living on a flat treeless spot as we do, we’re basically on a vast plain if you’re viewing it from ant level.  And these are not the small, reasonably well behaved ants you find in metropolitan areas.  No, these suckers are almost 3/4 inch long, smell….and sally forth to do battle with the other Ant Clans.  I suspect warring clans because the ants are different and on the occasions they’ve been sweeping around one can clearly see different points of ingress to the field of battle.  Anyway, their favorite time til now has been around 3 a.m., when their initial sally into the yurt typically commences by their crawling across our bed.  And Thus, Us.  So we’ve been doing the ant thing for, it seems like, aeons.  It ties into the other problem which has dwarfed all others, how to keep this thing cool, but that is another part of the story.

This morning suddenly the yurt was beseiged by ants.  We figure they’re coming in to cart away all the fly carcasses (another fun thing since we live next to a horse corral) but in any event it took the usual epic struggle to wrestle this particular incursion to the ground.  After which, mopping our brows what do we find but: A frog.  In the yurt. Who promptly hopped out of sight and we hope doesn’t die alone and hidden and emit a horrible stench when we can’t find the little corpse.  Anyway that took some time and while I was, indeed, thinking of witty ways to describe The Situation, it still took time.  And then, there is

Problem B.  Keeping the Yurt Cool.  Yurts are heat sinks which no one really tells you straight out at the beginning.  They are truly wonderful but if you’re going to live someplace where it gets above 80 degrees f? Don’t do it.  So. The average temperature here has been 111 degrees farenheit for over a month.  (Which is about 42 degrees centigrade, by the by). We had been hosing the yurt down to cool it and stopped because we thought that was attracting the ants.  Discovering that to not be the case, we finally got an oscillating lawn sprinkler to use which provided substantial relief.  I recommend it, actually.  So we had two or three days without the normal feeling of  have-I-died-and-gone-to-Hell-without-knowing? , until this morning.  When, we find we don’t have enough water pressure to power the (small, mind you) oscillating lawn sprinkler.  Instead the water comes through the window and not over the roof, floods the area around the yurt and, in the bargain, doesn’t cool it off.  This has pretty much been the story, with varying Dramatis Thingumae, since Day One.

Some not inconsiderable relief has been provided by Jefferson Public Radio, which is located in the mythical state of Jefferson which is somewhere apparently not all that far from here.  I might have gone irrevocably nuts without this station, because otherwise?  Hollyville/Nashwood country music, rock stations that play the same play list overandoverandoverand…and, delightfully, Christian religious stations on one of which I heard a sprightly female voice come on after a musical interlude, saying, Now, you should picture YOUR face on Jesus’ crucified body.  (Given my current circumstances I actually don’t have too much trouble doing that but it is not what one wishes to listen to, just in general.)  Somehow it just seemed a bit much.  I hadn’t realized how much some intelligent commentary and actual MUSIC, country included, could mean.  Almost everything, turns out.

So.  As I said, I have plans to write about this because as wacky as it may seem, it is a tale with Broader Implications.  Now, on to check the water pressure.  See you shortly……..