Bad things come in threes, right?

It’s been an eventful few weeks, and not necessarily in the best of ways. We got hit with a triple-whammy; a broken septic system, an annoying mosquito problem, and a head lice infestation.


I’m pretty sure the first two are related; backed up water in the pipes means breeding mosquitos, which meant a lot of me walking around and saying, “They’re coming from inside the house,” in a dramatic, grating whisper. We’ve been slapping ourselves silly; it’s like camping, but in our living room, and without all the fun parts that make camping worthwhile.

The septic system is no longer blocked, but it’s going to need a lot of work, involving local inspectors and possibly a new leech field. Thankfully my mom handled most of the back and forth with plumbers and contractors, because shortly after the septic system went on the fritz, the Great Head Lice Infestation of 2017 began.

The new showercap look, it’s all the rage.

We’ve never had lice before. It’s a milestone I’d hoped never to see, but Ellie kept complaining of an itchy head, until I brought her to the doctor and confirmed the presence of creepy crawly bugs. Of course, she has the thickest, most plentiful head of hair in the house, and de-lousing her has been an exercise in anger management. Many tears have been shed, not all of them hers.

After finding a stray louse in my own hair, I’m seriously contemplating a new hairstyle. Something involving a razor. I’m not going to rule it out just yet.

So, we washed all the bedding and towels and kids’ clothing (at the laundromat, because see the part about the broken septic system) and invested hundreds of dollars in lice removal shampoos and sprays and cremes and new hair brushes, and I think we nipped it in the bud. Half our bedding is still hanging out in quarantine aka garbage bags, and we’re still washing everything in hot water, but the last treatment seems to have worked.

Reliving our college years.Please let it have worked.

Beyond the less pleasant stuff, I’m trying to stay productive. I’m three weeks into the twelve-week sabbatical, and I’ve come to the point where this no longer feels like a summer vacation. I have nine weeks to go, which both seems like forever, and not nearly enough time to do all the things I want to do.

I’m drawing a lot. I’ve been studying French and meditating. I’ve done a few small organization projects around the house. I haven’t been as physically active as I’d like, but I’m spending some time outside, beating back the wilderness with a weed whacker and taking the dog for walks.

We’ve also trapped several squirrels that were wintering in our attic, and Tim has become quite adept at coaxing them out of the walls. Between the lice in our hair, the biting insects in our living room, and the rodents in the walls, I’ve had enough of nature’s pesky little wonders.

The kids are out of school as of today, so hopefully the rest of our summer is less exciting!


  1. Over here head lice are not only super common but also totally resistant to all the commerical de-lousing shampoos/products – it’s a never-ending frustration. I use a “nitty gritty” comb on the kids every couple of days (both to de-nit and to keep watch) and it does a great job.

    One suggestion – if I may! – if you’ve got a headlice comb, re-check about a week after you shampoo etc. It takes about a week for the eggs to hatch and it’s really easy to become rapidly re-infected!

  2. We did two treatments; the first didn’t work, so we did a second a week later (using an “ultra” treatment that claimed to kill “super lice” and nits), and I think that did it. I’m still combing every few days to make sure, and we’re all using lice-repel shampoo and washing everything in hot water/drying on high. Phew.

    Do you have nit comb recs, by chance? The ones that came with the treatments are less than ideal.

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