Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Invasion/I'd rather be...

Cam left Tuesday w/o plans to return home until Sunday afternoon. If his travel was purely work-related, I would be bummed out about him being gone so long.

But, the first leg of his trip took him to Chicago where he was able to spend a bit of time with Eric, Sarah and the niece and nephew to be.

This week, spent some time writing up ideas about places to go and things to do in Chicago for a man I worked with who is planning a trip there.

It made me nostalgic for a place that still feels like home. With all that reminiscing and thoughts of Cam's family, I started considering returning to our old stomping grounds. The weighing of pros and cons began. The discussion continues...

After leaving Chicago, Cam traveled to Atlanta. His work there was done sometime yesterday. Last night and today, he is spending time with Anthony, Jeanette and Lucas Cameron, who live in the area. I'm happy he has been able to have time with people close to him.

When Cam told me about his chance to travel and have time with family and friends, I thought maybe Sam and I would use the time to travel and visit someone we care about as well.

My friend, Melissa (pictured at right) is back in Southern California. She's been performing at a dinner theater there. I thought maybe we'd leave on Friday and head south to spend some time with her and watch her show before she heads back to Chicago, later this month.

But last Friday night, I was so tired from the work week that I went to bed before 9pm. Last Saturday morning, I wondered how realistic it was to think I would be able to drive 6 hours on a Friday evening. I didn't want to end up turning around again.

I really wanted to see my friend. So, I tried to come up with things that might make the drive more enjoyable. What if I drove along the ocean on Hwy 1? I knew it would be slower going but definitely more scenic. I thought about Big Sur and how it was a half-way point along the coast.

What if we only drove three hours on Friday night then camped at Big Sur?

We could get up early and drive the remaining three hours Saturday morning and still have time to hang out for awhile before her show. We could leave early Sunday and take our time driving back home.

But the math was daunting. Twelve hours of driving for maybe 12 hours of hanging out? Probably more like 7 hours of hanging out. I wanted to and I didn't want to at the same time. More weighing of pros and cons. More deliberation.

On top of it all, I am nearly at my wits end over our current flea infestation.

haven't wanted to talk about it because it is embarrassing and the fleas are currently winning.

I'd rather beat it then talk about our triumph.

Our beloved cats have always been allowed to go outdoors. Never before living in California have fleas been a problem. So, while we rave about how much we love the moderate temperatures here, I'm learning that they come with a downside too.

They didn't seem to be a problem when my family visited in mid-April for spring break. But sometime since then, they've cropped up. We've treated the cats twice but the fleas have taken up residence in our home. A couple of weeks ago, I was so tired of Sam saying, I found another flea, that I bought a box of three bug bombs. Then, on a day I was scheduled to work a half-day in the afternoon, I spent the morning doing my best to prepare my home to be filled with poisonous gases. I was incredibly upset about the idea but wasn't sure what else to do. I was desperate.

I set them off and was about to bolt from the house. The vapor started pouring out of the first canister and the smoke detectors started going off. Somehow, I'd missed the part of the directions that said to disable them ahead of time. I quickly pulled a battery out of the closest one but could still hear beeps coming from both directions. I ran out the door and split.

Of course, it was now time for me to head to work. A class full of middle school students somewhere was waiting for me. So, I didn't have time to deal with the chaos I'd just created. I had visions of my neighbors calling the fire department and returning home to find angry landlords and maintenance people waiting.

I called our upstairs neighbors to apologize and let them know there wasn't a fire. Thankfully, they couldn't hear anything. That afternoon, when I came home, the smoke alarms were no longer screaming but there was still a foggy haze in our bedroom. Nice. I opened all of the windows and went to go get Sam.

We met Ariel and Ash at a park and hung out for awhile before meeting Cam for dinner at Joe's.

After dinner, the haze was gone and no one else seemed to think the place was still noxious. I guess the bug bomb doesn't leave a bad smell but even though I can't smell anything, I have always been able to taste bug spray. I could taste it for days.

The fleas were back (if they ever left) before the taste was out of my mouth. I was so frustrated and discouraged.

I started reading up. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about fleas, flea eggs, flea poop, etc. The gist of most of my reading is that getting rid of fleas is extremely difficult.

I started thinking about getting rid of the cats. Cameron and Sam aren't willing to go that far and I'm not sure I'm there yet either.

So, instead of burning all of our things and running off for Chicago or escaping to Big Sur, I decided to stay home and face them.

Yesterday morning, I talked with Cam about how upset I am about them. One of the main things I read about getting rid of fleas is that frequent vacuuming is essential. The vacuum we have is 14 years old and wasn't even picking up cat hair.

I researched vacuums and read good things about one in particular. When I asked Cam how much he thought was reasonable to spend on a vacuum, he said, whatever I thought was best. Then, last night, he called as I was about to buy one and said, "We're spending how much on a vacuum?"

I went ahead and armed myself with a ridiculously expensive machine. I just called a vet and found out I can buy maximum strength cat treatment w/o an appointment.

I may have lost the battle but the war has just begun.

Cam just called. He said he'd rather we were off doing something fun than working on the house. (We'd talked about going horseback riding here since we weren't able to do it with Melissa.) He said he'd be happy to try to help me deal with the fleas when he returns but that if the current situation was making it so that I couldn't enjoy being around the house he understood and appreciated me trying to take care of it.

In the meantime, here are some places I'd rather be:

Gazing at the gently, running water near Mirror Lake, Yosemite.

More lovely water near Mirror Lake.

Dramatic, crashing water we saw near Illouette Falls at the beginning of our hike to the top of Nevada Falls.

Chasing the rainbow that followed us as we hiked to the top of Vernal Falls.

Witnessing the power of Vernal Falls from the top.

Watching Cam's, Lord of the Rings, Water Horses leap out of Nevada Falls.

Being refreshed by the mist from a waterfall. (In this scene, we are at Lower Yosemite Falls, where earlier we'd seen a moon bow.)

Enjoy whatever you do today and wish us luck.


Kayhan Gultekin said...

Yikes! Good luck.

The last infestation I had to deal with was a flour bug infestation. Not nearly as heeby-jeeby-inducing an insect as fleas, but amazingly pervasive. We eventually licked the problem, and I'm sure you will, too.

Show no mercy!

Eric Maddux said...

That bites! Good luck with the battle.