Coffee heat rising

Fleas?????? Is there ever a break from the timesuck?

So I wake up this morning with a nice little pattern of bug bites on one arm. Now, there’s nothing unusual about the occasional solitary bug bite around this place. Arizona, as the local climate has warmed and the feckless humans have flooded in and tried to clone the upper Midwest wherever they come to light, has been overrun with mosquitoes.

You never used to see a mosquito here. Now they fill your house every spring and hang around until December, when the weather chills down a bit. One day a couple of years ago, I killed a dozen of the little monsters inside the house!

We haven’t had so many this year. I don’t know why. Haven’t had many flies, either.

WhatEVER. All that notwithstanding, I happen to know what a mosquito bite looks like. Having grown up in the Middle East, I also happen to know what flea bites look like.

Mosquitoes are not piggish eaters. They sit down to dinner once and then get up and fly away. Fleas, on the other hand, have never met a blood meal that they didn’t want more of. Right away, please.

So three or four really itchy bites clustered within a radius of an inch or two or three usually means a flea has come visiting.

And you know what that means?

Oh yes.


Time suck of the first water.

You need to get on the job of flea-whacking instantaneously if you’re to have any hope whatsoever that your DIY efforts will work.

So. First thing after the requisite doggy-walk (we do the doggy walk at 5 a.m. because i wish to live and because one corgi will boss a human around but two corgis will reduce the human to full obedience at all times), it was into the bathtub with the hounds.

Actually, before we left, I inspected both pooches for fleas and didn’t find any signs that I recognize. It’s pretty easy to tell if the animal is heavily infested. My mother once brought a badly infested cat home from a pet store…the vet taught us how to recognize flea eggs and flea debris. They don’t seem to have any eggs in their fur, nor did I see any flea sh!t. However, both dogs had a strange dark deposit around their hindmost titties. I think this was dirt — probably congealed urine, since a female dog can spray her belly by accident, especially when it assumes as deep a squat as a corgi does. So I smeared these areas with olive oil, figuring some oil would loosen whatever that was.

Olive oil will not harm your dog, BTW. Baby oil and bath oil may, since they consist mostly of mineral oil. That’s antithetical to an animal that can be guaranteed to lick the stuff off.

So by the time we got home from a mile’s stroll, the dogs had been marinating in olive oil for twenty or thirty minutes.

Into the bathtub.

You do not want to know what a circus it is to launder a corgi. When they say a corgi is “a big dog in a small dog’s body,” that’s not quite spot on. The fact is, under certain circumstances, a corgi IS a big dog.

Two wrestling matches later, the dogs were clean and the bathtub was filthy.

Scrub bathtub out.

Now it was time to gather ALL the bedding, including the bedpad, all the mats the dogs lay on, all the area rugs in the house, all the clothing I’ve worn lately all the towels I’ve used, all the…whatever. These all needed be washed in HOT hot water and then dried on the dryer’s hottest cycle.

Six loads of laundry got stacked in the garage next to the washer.


That thing takes about an hour for every load. So we’re looking at SIX HOURS OF LAUNDRY out there!!!!!!!!!

One of the damn thing’s many charms is that you can’t select “hot” water on most of the cycles. There’s actually only one cycle that lets you select very hot water: the one that’s intended to “sanitize” the inside of the thing, since as we know these so-called “high-efficiency” washers tend to grow mold and stink to high heaven.

“High efficiency.” SNORT!!!!!! How exactly is having to run the electric for SIX HOURS to do a three-hour (or less) job “efficient”?

Then it was time to drag out the vacuum. Vacuum every nook and every cranny in the bedroom. Vacuum every square inch of the mattress and bed springs. This is complicated by  the fact that it’s one of those “pillow top” monsters that were in style at the time I bought the thing. “Pillow tops” are held in place by stitched-down patterns, which collect…yes…dirt and debris. Had to get an orange stick and a stiff brush to dig that stuff out of the stupid stitch thingies and THEN vacuum all that up. Endless.

Then climb under the bed (which weighs too much for me to budge) and vacuum every square inch under there. And vacuum every square inch under the dressers. And in the closet. And up the hall. And in the other rooms. Ugh.

Thank god for tile floors.

It’s almost 10 a.m. Good thing the dogs rousted me out at 5, otherwise I’d still be doing all that. Well, I am still doing all that: the accursed goddamn Samsung washer is grinding away out there.

It’s 10:03 a.m. and I have done no work. I mean, real work on the writing empire. Well. I uploaded an image to the Camptown Races blog, which will be called “Camptown Ladies Talk.” The images I wanted to use turned out to be a) too large and b) too difficult to fit into the header image space without some serious Photoshopping. But I found some images in the public domain that simply defy belief.

If you’d like a preview, you can peek at her here. But IF YOU ARE WITH THE CHURCH, DO NOT GO THERE, DEAR FELLOW CHOIR MEMBERS, CLERGY, AND HANGERS-ON because that will pop your eye out. That site is strictly adults only. Racy adults.

Yesterday I finished what I hoped would be the last chapter of the current Bobbi and the Biker bookoid, but as it fell together, I found Bobbi and Billy demanded at least one more chapter. This is alarming, because we’re already over 7,000 words. Whatever wraps this episode up is gonna have to be succinct.

This weekend I also posted book III of Fire-Rider. The marauding war bands get back on the road, after having flattened a major enemy stronghold, and the journey begins…

And now, speaking of metaphorical journeys, I must away!