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!

Living on lake time

A close friend has a family camp on Grand Lake, and she’s been kind enough to host us a few times this summer. The two of us grew up together, alongside her brothers and multiple cousins, and my brother and I were sort of adopted into their family by virtue of living next door to her grandparents. We’ve only recently had the chance to spend more time together, given we each have kids and busy lives, so this was a real treat.

The kids love it, of course. They’ll spend most of the day in the water, then come home exhausted and bug-bitten, smelling of sunblock and lake water. There has been lots of sun, a mild case of swimmer’s itch, and at least two bloodsuckers. Because it’s not a successful summer day unless you’re exhausted and slathered in calamine lotion at the end of it.

I visited this place often as a kid, so it’s fulfilling to watch the next generation enjoy it as much as we did.

For the grown-ups, time by the lake means disconnecting, relaxing, having a drink, and catching up with friends. I definitely need more of that in my life. Going to the lake is like a giant “time out”.