Buggin’

Today was the one day out of this whole summer that was going to be a full work-on-the-book day for me:7 undistracted hours. We had diabetic-trained child-care lined up (the one person [rarely available], other than Zeke and I, that we have trained in how to deal with MOST of Vini’s diabetic needs, though not all–she still doesn’t know how to change a pump or CGM site, or how to deal with any of the myriad problems that can arise with Vini’s technology, but she is great, and trustworthy, and only calls me once or twice during the day, unless there is some emergency).
Of course, this didn’t pan out. Vini woke up with some kind of a stomach bug, which as parents of diabetic kids know, can be a huge nightmare. She never did end up throwing up (thank goodness! No visit to the emergency room to get her on an IV due to uncontrollably plummeting sugar. That usually always happens to us during the winter right after a snowstorm when we can barely get out our road), it just all came out the other end, which at least means we can control her sugar, though I have now spent the entire day making her bone-broths, giving her small bits of home-made kefir and other probiotic foods, entertaining her. She is feeling better, sugar somewhat stable, and so far we have not had to resort to the dreaded white rice or banana, either of which would send her sugar soaring, but at least stop her up.

Meanwhile, some kind of bug related to the pine-borer beetle you hear so many nightmare stories about here in New England, has been busily (and noisily) sawing its way through our gigantic pile of 50-foot-long Spruce logs that Zeke has collected (all the dead-standing trees leftover from last year’s hurricane and the 2008 ice storm) (we know it’s not THOSE pine-borers, because they aren’t touching the living trees). Zeke had planned to mill them this fall, has been going at them bit by bit, but is now frantically trying to mill them whenever he gets a free moment (hah! Whatever that means!). The other night the three of us were out there at sunset, picking cucumbers and peppers, watching the clouds, and listening to the unmistakable sound of chomping. It’s almost a cartoon-sound. You picture little mouths with big pointy teeth. It would be comic, except for the fact that this is the sound of our future inverter shed, cabins, shop and studios being devoured from the inside out. Well, we’re managing to save some of it, and so far they’re not touching the hardwoods. Thank the universe for small miracles…

The other summer bummer this year is that we were so busy we put off covering the blueberries with netting, and in one day the birds ate all the berries! It’s our fault for not getting on it. I kept thinking about it, thinking “oh, we need to get to that,” but there was so much else to do, it kept slipping my mind. You live, you learn. At least it wasn’t one of our intended cash crops, but we had planned to freeze a whole lot for next winter, and now we’re going to have to find the time to go pick some at one of the nearby organic pick-your-own farms, but so far haven’t had time to do that, and V and I are leaving again in a few days to see Grandparents and cousins, etc. for 2 weeks, while Zeke continues to build the solar heating system and tear apart the house loudly all night, which he can’t really do when we’re here.
So, obviously, we have our priorities set:see family and get into the ocean. Vini’s sugar tends to be completely stable and for the most part predictable when she spends 5 hours a day swimming and boogie-boarding in the ocean. She falls asleep relatively early at night, so I can sit up and get some work done on the book, since I usually have to wait up until her dinner-time bolus of insulin is out of her system, as this is the time of day she often can have sudden, quick lows due to all the exercise during the day, and I often have to turn her pump off or, at worst, wake her up and give her glucose. It’s good for me, though, because I don’t have the distractions I do being at home:herbs to harvest, tincture and dry; food to harvest, cook and freeze;business stuff to deal with;the ongoing fight with the school district to provide a para for V at school to contend with;inevitable house/property issues that arise;figuring out how I’m going to fit in partially home-schooling her this year (forced on me by the district–a long story for a future post, when I’m really in the mood for ranting), and still get this book written, blog up, get some workshops together to make money, keep the house standing, keep us all fed and alive, etc. Not to mention, find some time in there to get some exercise and take care of myself. That hasn’t happened yet. So, this is my 2 weeks, coming up, of maybe getting a little work done on the book at night, and SURFING (though someone just got attacked by a Great White a couple of beaches away from where we like to go, so not so sure about this…. It’s not like California, where there always seems to be a school of dolphins surfing with you, protecting you from sharks!). Well, I had 2 weeks last month, so I consider myself lucky…

Got interrupted back there… Had to “save” my daughter from an earwig invasion. Yuch! My last bit about BUGS was going to be to talk about my severe tick-a-noia. I contracted Lyme disease a little over a year ago, didn’t catch it early enough (due to the stupidity of some lab technician at a doctor’s office we were trying out temporarily [the lack of progressive medicine in this otherwise very progressive area is astounding. I got spoiled in California]). I had the little #*%^&$ in a jar, in alcohol, just like you’re supposed to, got it in to the lab within 12 hours of pulling it, fully engorged, off my back, where it had apparently been happily sipping my blood and infecting me with spirochetes (Babesia co-infection too) for two days, since our return home from a springtime family visit to the Cape. The lab tech looked at me like I was crazy, looked at the jar, screwed up her face in disgust, and informed me that there “really isn’t any Lyme disease in this area–it’s all a bunch of hype.” “Well,” I said. “THIS tick came riding back here with me from the CAPE.” (Everyone knows that the Cape is full of deer-ticks.) “Well, we can’t test the tick,” she said. “But,” (me) “I read somewhere that you can get the tick tested if you get it into alcohol immediately, and get it to a lab within 24 hours…” “I’m sorry,” says techie. “You’ve been given some misinformation. I don’t know where you read that. I really wouldn’t worry about Lyme. It’s so rare.”
Long story short:she had no idea what she was talking about. However, there’s no excuse for me not finding another place to take it, except that I had to race back up to the hills where we live to get to school to pick up my daughter, get dinner ready and her to bed at a decent hour so we could get up at 6:30 AM for school the next morning. So what did I do? I went into tick-denial. To such an extent that I actually left the glass jar with alcohol and dead tick on the floor of my car for about 4 weeks. I would vaguely register the sound of something rolling around under my car seat when I took a corner too fast. I was just on overload. Dealing with Vini’s diabetes was enough. I didn’t even want to entertain the possibility that one of us would get sick with anything. I also knew nothing about Lyme back then. Anyway, the rest of the story is for another time. Or maybe not the whole story, but the end result of it:severe tick-a-noia which is humorous enough to relay to strangers… Something to look forward to…

Ahhhh….. Life in the country!

Gotta go pick Japanese Beetles off of everything. There’s something really satisfying about drowning them in a large yoghurt container full of soapy water. Sorry. Don’t mean to offend anyone, but they are just horrible, and EVERYWHERE this year–ate all my roses (that would’ve been a 1-year supply of rose hips!). It’s all because of all that non-native invasive stuff the woman who lived here before us planted everywhere.
OK. Baby steps…

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3 thoughts on “Buggin’

  1. Oh, Elena, when it rains… You are bugging out! I can really see that they are totally taking over your life. Sorry Vini got sick. You know, RR didn’t have scarlet fever and the Dr.’s office never called to tell me to take her off antibiotics— I had to call for the results and then have them call back after they spoke to the doctor. Long story short, next time I’m not going to do antibiotics with a suspected case of strep. So… we had a bug problem too. And I didn’t realize that japanese beetles were from invasive species (or at least foreign species?) makes sense, Nice to see your face, even if it’s just a picture.

  2. We have the beetles up here !!! They are killing my whole tomato farm. What to do? Enjoy the Cape & the stable times with Vin so you can recharge… Call me when you can … We love you all so much….. M e’ L

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