Tuesday, June 22, 2010

bibliophiliac? Did I just make up a new word?

I don't often do posts about books ... actually I may never have done one.  This might make you think that I am not of the book-reading stripe, and understandably so, but you'd be wrong.  Way wrong.

See, books are so much a part of my life that I just don't think about them.  They're there like food and water, like my kids; an essential part of my life - one I couldn't imagine living without.

I read - usually - 2-3 books at a time. I can be reading up to 5-6, but never only one.  I might find one so fascinating that I read it exclusively for a couple of days, but I always have to cleanse my mental palate every now and then.  I can generally finish a novel in 48 hours, so when, for instance, I get a new Stephen King or Kathy Reich, I might read it right through, uninterrupted by another book, but that's rare.

So what prompted me to share all this literary lovey-ness with you all (most of whom, I'm quite sure are bibliophiles like me)? Well, I just realsied this morning that I'm currently reading 4 books and have 2 more on standby and still more on their sweet way from Amazon.  I'm in book heaven. And I love being here.  It makes me so happy to have a bunch of books to read!  Some people might feel overwhelmed at a stack of unread books but I look at them fondly.

So what am I reading?

Hmm ... I just finished The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith an astounding and fact-packed book that I recommend everyone read - especially those who believe that their vegetarian / grain based diet is actually better for the planet. That is a lie. You are eating an untruth and the real truth is really really scary, folks.

I also re-re-re-read Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne just for fun. I can finish the ones that I've read many times in 24 hours.

Currently I'm absorbed by a book called The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  What I thought would be a trivial young adult novel is a gripping adventure that I've had trouble putting down. I plan to purchase the next two in the trilogy once I get some money.

I just started Alas, Babylon , a post-apocolyptic oldie by Pat Frank.  Not far enough along to judge yet.

Those are all physical books. I am also embroiled in two on the kindle which are about to get the best of me: A Son of the Circus by John Irving, a normally fave author of mine. This one, though, is dragging and has been since the get-go.  I'm still working on it though.  The other is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson which it seems everyone raves about. Well, I find it dense, wandering, and hard to get through.  I've been avoiding going back to it since it's like chewing a huge wad of hard, tasteless gum.

The two I have on deck are two novels that are faves of my dad's.  He claims that there are only three novels that he has read more than once: Catch-22, Fate Is the Hunter (Ernest K. Gann) and Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson).  As a matter of fact I have started Snow Crash twice (at his urging) and have failed to finish it each time.  I have never read Fate is the Hunter (I've read Catch-22 many many times).  He (my dad) pretty much threw down the gauntlet on Facebook about Snow Crash the other day so I , unable to resist a challenge, stomped into my library this morning (yes, we have a library in our home) and find Snow Crash and Fate is the Hunter.

Even with books that I'm having trouble getting through I still am delighted to have a stack of books waiting to be read!

What about you? What are you reading now?  Do you have a book or books that you thought you would like but just can't seem to wade through?  have you read any of the ones I mentioned/ What did you think?

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:39 pm   5 comments

Saturday, June 19, 2010

When yellowjackets attack!

So, yeah ... yesterday morning I decided to start loading the truck with the scrap metal so I could take it to the recycler (scrap isn't bringing much right now but 1) I can't bear the thought of it going into our landfills; recycling is thrifty AND good for the planet, and 2) even if a truckload only brings me ten bucks, well, $10 is $10!)

It's typically hot and I'm out in my shorts, tee, and flip-flops and I'm tossing scrap into the truck. Some of the pieces have been there a while and are partially buried, so I'm tugging a bit out and, OUCH! I feel a sting on my foot! Then another!

Here in South Carolina that usually means Fire Ants,

so I hopped on one foot and brushed the aggrieved foot (the right) down with my left hand. I immediately got two (three?) sharp stings on my hand.

OK ... fire ants don't fly.

I looked down just long enough to see several yellow and black bodies swirling around and lit out like Seabiquit driving for the finish line.

If I was screaming, "OMFG WASPS WASPS WAAAAAASPS AIEEE!!" I don't recall it. That's certainly what I was saying in my head.

Turns out what I thought at first were hornets were Yellowjackets:

I managed six separate stings (maybe seven - not sure if my hand got 2 or 3 - left hand, right foot and leg, and one on my ribs where one of the wee bastards crawled up under my shirt). They swelled up and hurt like someone was pressing the tips of six soldering irons into my skin.

I'm not allergic to anything that I know of, but I had a mother of a reaction. For hours after the stings my heart raced like the overworked engine in some loser's rice rocket and my hands shook.

Apparently I'm still having some residual issues. Here's what my hand stings look like this morning - almost 24 hours later:

My left hand (stung) compared to my right (old and boney).

Left wrist. It's hard to tell in this pic but it's swole up like a sausage.


Well, you ask, what am I doing about the Yellowjackets? They might sting the kids!

We tried to take care of the nest last night. I try not to kill anything that's not bothering me but, I agree that the kids are in jeopardy if I leave the damned things there.

Since going Paleo I try to use as few chemical on my and my kid's bodies as possible, plus I've cut down even more on the chemicals that I use in my house and out of doors. I have given up shampoo, sunscreen, lotion, household cleaners, and much more.

So how do I get rid of wasps without nasty chemicals? Don't EVEN suggest the old gasoline trick. Not only is that dangerous, but it's environmentally stupid. It is idiotic to pour petrol out onto the ground!

Well, I Googled about a bit and discovered a smothering method. We tried it last night: wet sand over the entrance hole then cover the lot with a board. Don't laugh yet ... let's see if it works.


Have you had any harrowing experiences with hornets yellowjackets or other wasps?  How did you treat the stings?  How did you get rid of the nest?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:15 am   3 comments