Sunday, July 2, 2017

(Well Deserved) Arachnophobiaaaaaaa!!!

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick....

Is that the clock, ticking off the minutes before the end of the weekend and my chance to post my Ten Things of Thankful for the week?

Or a time bomb?

Or A DAMN TICK, the kind that crawls on you quite softly and hides in your hair and then you JUST HAPPEN to brush the hair at your temple away from your face after changing clothes, after retouching make up AND HAIR after a day spent out in the country at an auction and you feel something, SOMETHING, not right. Hard. A piece of a leaf? We were standing under trees quite often at the auction, it being the first of July in Missouri, and you pinch it with your fingers and flick it into the bathroom sink AND IT CRAWLS. AND IT'S REALLY BIG (for a tick) AND IT WAS FIXING TO ATTACH ITSELF TO MY HEADDDDDD!!!

Thankful #1: I got that little fucker before it went bottom's up into my scalp. It makes my stomach flip flop to think how close I was to having that happen. And it's not even that ticks harbor horrid illnesses, because they do, at least around here, and they can be deadly; it's because they're ICKY ICKY ICKY ICKY ICKY.

Maybe, MAYBE, I wouldn't have freaked out so much about the tick (it really was HUGE and blood thirsty) if I weren't already suffering at the hands (or mouths) of a cousin on the tick, a little something called an oak tree mite. What's that, you ask? It's a microscopic arachnid that blows out of oak trees and bites whatever it lands on. Not sure how I came into contact with an entire fleet of them for the first time in my life, but that's the best guess of the Nurse Practitioner at the urgent care clinic that I finally went to after a week of an increasing number of bites on my legs, from ankles to above the knees, and my inner arms, from wrist to bicep (apparently, they took a look at those guns and went the other way). I did a little yard work a couple of weeks ago, and it's possible that I had a delayed reaction to the bites. Regardless, my legs look so hideous that I can't even show you a picture. That bad. Plus, the itching was relentless to the point that my legs felt as though they were on fire.

Thankful #2: I got a round of steroids that seem to be helping.

Thankful #3: Because I haven't slept more than about four hours since starting the steriods (fun side effect), I have gotten all the laundry done and cleaned the washing machine with a toothbrush.

Thankful #4: Unlike straw mites, which my daughter and about a dozen of her friends contracted last fall at a bonfire, oak tree mites bite and go. Conversely, straw mites burrow into the skin, and when one gets them, one has to use a special cream and coat one's skin from neck to toes and then wash it off 8 hours later. Plus, they itch. Burrowed. Under. Your skin. 

Yesterday, my husband and I went to my dad's and the three of us headed to the aforementioned auction. It was out in the country, on a farm, with lots of shade trees (probably full of oak tree mites and ticks). Unlike the sale my dad and I attended a few weeks ago, this one had a number of items we were interested in, so we got our lawn chairs out of the car and settled in for the long haul. There was quite a bit of old furniture, a lot of which had been in storage in an outbuilding. I got a solid oak, antique dining table for $40. And I got an antique oak rocking chair (it was kind of a mistake; I was trying to tell my dad that my husband was interested in a bench that was going to be the next item auctioned, he misunderstood me and bid for the rocking chair, and we got it for $20 - fortunately, it's a lovely little rocker and is comfortable and the bench went for way more money that we were willing to pay for it anyway). My dad got a stool with a spinny seat for $5 that he is going to use in his shop at the lake house. We people watched. I scratched oak tree mite bites. We sweat. My husband and I lugged the table and rocker to the Sequoia and got them loaded, but not before we found out they were LITERALLY crawling with spiders. Big spiders, little spiders. Fat spiders, skinny spiders. Big spiders with long legs who were grabbing egg sacks and running with them. Oh, and egg sacks. We used a newspaper to beat them, poke them, swat them, shoo them, and otherwise (dear God, I hope) eradicate them from the furniture.

Just needs a little TLC

Thankful #5: as is common with auctions in these parts, there are always Old Order Mennonites there. The last auction attracted just men and boys, but at this auction, there were about half a dozen families there, including one family with five little stair-step girls (ranging in age from about 5 to a baby) that were completely precious. I got a picture of three of them walking by the tables together:

Thankful #6: I sweat so much I didn't have to avail myself of the porta-potties. 

Thankful #7: That this guy is not representative of everyone in the Missouri Ozarks:

I know he thinks his hat is very clever.
I wanted to set it on fire.

I was looking at some salt and pepper shakers and other collectibles on some tables and let my dad get out of my sight for ONE MINUTE (maybe just a few more), and I walked up just as he won the bid on some power tools: a router (which is big and heavy and was mounted on a bigger, heavier board) and a planer/jointer (which is bigger and heavier and was mounted on a board that was mounted on a metal stand). He only gave $20 for one and $10 for the other. The reason they were so cheap? They had been stored in an outbuilding FOR YEARS and were beyond filthy. The cords were frayed (in actuality, probably chewed by rodents). The planer/jointer weighed over 200 lbs. The Sequoia was full of a table, a rocker, a spinny stool, three lawn chairs, and spiders. Our only choice was to leave them there and come back the next day and try to get them home.

Frayed much?

This is a very old planer/jointer.

Thankful #8: Not long after we finally made it home from the auction (and lunch, because you've gotta have lunch), I had my tick encounter. This is not a thankful. The reason I was messing with my hair and make up was because we then spent the evening at the stock car races. It was a fun evening, not as dusty as last time we went, and there were fireworks during intermission.

Green flag.

This morning, the three of us trooped back to the auction site of the previous day, armed with an assortment of tools, so we could load the two saws into my dad's van. It had been determined that the planer/jointer would need to be dismantled in order for it (a) to fit in the car and (b) to be a manageable weight. We (okay, mostly them - I planned to take pictures and call 911 if necessary and no more) laid the planer/jointer on its side, removed a couple of bolts that attached it to the heavy cart, and cleaned it as best we could of mouse nests, ancient sawdust deposits, mud dauber nests, webs, and....spiders. Big spiders, little spiders. Fat spiders, skinny spiders. Big spiders with long legs who were grabbing egg sacks and running with them, and both unclaimed and empty egg sacks. Sigh. I used screwdrivers and a big crescent wrench to smash the mud dauber nests and smack spiders and remove mouse nesting, all while flinching and brushing myself of any and all spiders, oak tree mites, and ticks, real or imaginary, that could be crawling on me.

Thankful #9: We (okay, they) got the planer/jointer dismantled enough to load it in the back of the van, along with the router on the giant board and any spiders that survived my attempts at extermination.

During the dis-assembly, my dad immediately
noticed the sticker on this round thingy
showing that the former owner bought it
from my dad's old store.

Thankful #10: I hereby remain tick-free.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Linking up with Josie Two-Shoes and her Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.