Thursday, May 13, 2010

short stories 4

bite me

That's not an invitation but a statement of fact. Something is biting me and it particularly likes the crevasses of my body. Not fleas, not bedbugs, not mosquitos but some invisible mite that feasts on my luscious bod during the night. I have three large red itchy whelps, one on a hip bone, one in my armpit and one, well, you probably don't really want to know where that one is. This happened all last summer too and now that the weather has warmed up, the biters are back. It only happens out here at the country house but it's not a housecleaning issue as I am a much better housekeeper here than in the city. Hmmmm. Maybe that's the problem. I'm getting rid of the biters' natural predators.

(Not every story has a picture. I didn't think you would really want to see my bug bites.)


I reported a while back that some little bird was building a nest in the rag bag that hangs in the (attached) garage. I cleaned out the accumulation of leaves and twigs and then forgot about it. The other day when I went out the screen door into the garage, a wren bolted out of the rag bag and into the wide open spaces. Startled me and it. So I looked and there was a nice cozy nest. No eggs though. They are still working on it. Yesterday evening, both wrens were in the garage (door open screen shut). One was collecting leaves and twigs off the garage floor while the other acted as lookout. Eventually all the activity attracted the cat's attention and she crept over to the screen door just quivering with excitement. I joined her and we silently watched. Wrens are such characters. Today they have been in and out of the garage clearly upset by all the activity of the inhabitants and expressing their displeasure.

at long last

No one will ever accuse us of acting in haste. Now, finally, after having the slab for 2½ years and the lumber (which Marc had previously cut to size) for the framing of our new shop filling up the garage for 9 months (yes, 9 months. I went back to see when the check was written and I even surprised myself as I was thinking 6 months), construction has actually begun. We even bought the metal panels for the siding and the roof when we were in the city yesterday.

le chat

Here's Emma helping me with my work. Actually this is her 'I'm not helping you very much' position. When she's really helping, she's sitting right on top of what I'm working on with her tail in my face, or she's walking on my keyboard. Other times when she wants to help she just pushes everything off onto the floor. Today though she has been banished from the desk top.

not my hair, mine's darker but the pile of hair is similar
picture via

Not quite like a sheep but nearly so. I got my hair cut yesterday, the shortest cut I have ever had. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, if I like it or not. It's a very boyish cut. She swept up a mountain of hair. It had grown to shoulder length or longer during the 9 months or more since my last haircut as nearly as we could remember. Mary Alice is going to bag it up and send it to the 'hair for oil abatement project'. Apparently hair is very oil absorbent and it is being stuffed in panty hose (being donated by manufacturers) and being used to soak up oil from the ongoing spill in the Gulf Of Mexico, my stomping grounds.

to the rescue
photo by Stephen Burch

Yesterday in the city I was standing near the turtle pond which is adjacent to the old bathtub that serves as the plant pond and I noticed some frantic movement in the texas swordleaf. Taking a closer look I found a juvenile white wing dove caught in the foliage mostly immersed in the water, only it's head up and dry. I gathered it up and wrapped it in a towel trying to absorb as much of the water as I could and warming it up. After a while, I set it down to see if it would fly away. It tried but couldn't even seem to stay on it's feet, lurching around so I gathered it up and wrapped it in the towel again til I could find a box to put it in in a quiet spot. A couple of hours later, it had dried out more though it's wing and tail feathers still looked wet and bedraggled. I took the box outside and opened it up and waited to see what would happen. After about 10 minutes, it fluttered up and perched on the edge, stretched out it's wings and flew away. Yay!


  1. Truly interesting stuff from ellen's head. Always a pleasure. I can identify with the persistant nest and shed building.

  2. My cat likes to help write, too. She actually watches the cursor moving on the screen and tries to bat it with her paw.

    I'm glad you saved the dove, a bird of peace. Wishing you and the bird much :)

  3. All I can think of that is biting you is a spider. They are sneaky little buggers and they will get in the sheets and bite when you roll on them or move about.
    Cool nest!!
    What a great save of the dove...Yay!!
    And congrats on the beginning of your new shop!!

  4. Yup, I'm thinking spider, too. Great place for your hair to go. Your cat/Mac scene looks pretty much like mine does. And yay you for looking out for the little dove. Thank you for that.

  5. It's Ellen's wild kingdom now that you're out of the city! Wow. Even on your body.

    Hope you discover what's biting you and put an end to it.

    Would love to see pics of your new haircut. Sounds cute!

  6. I am glad the gestation is complete and the birthing process has begun. Wait, humans are nine months, not sheds. I have some projects that have passed the three year mark so you are doing good.

    I am the same with my hair, tie it up or cut it off. I never seem to get to the hairdresser so Off with my hair, I say. I do it myself, sometimes good, sometimes not.

    The bird of peace, there has to be sign in that somewhere.

  7. I forgot the bite me sister had the same problem and hers were baby spiders. Bug bomb may solve the problem. It is a good year for spiders.

  8. LOL Gail - I'm sure this shed building process will be a LOT like birthing a baby!

    I want to see pics of the cut too! Just the back of your head would be find if you're feeling shy after sharing your face from your birthday party...

  9. I would say spiders too as I get bites like that also. Then it's time to change the sheets and I am ok for another week. I'd like to see your new hair do too.
    thanks for all your stories.

  10. That photo of lovely Emma "helping you" with your work is precious. And what a great story about the dove.

  11. Oh can't wait to see your no hair- I do not have a nice head for such short hair- I am envious! Spider bite can be troublesome- they can become staff infected- nasty- beware! Love your kitty!

  12. sounds almost like chiggers and if that is what the bites are you may be picking them up from the yard.
    Itch like crazy?

  13. I just LOVE these stories! Few things worse that bug bites in those special places. That's quite a mystery. Wish I knew what it could be. Chiggers? Quite the bird adventures. You are so tender with them. And the new shop project? Some things just happen in God's time, eh?

  14. I found it hard to make it through all the post without itching!! Poor you... I hope you find the culprit and bit him back ;0)

  15. Love this collection of tales. And thank you for not revealing all the bug bites. Some things just shouldn't be shared.

  16. What a lovely/super interesting collage of stories, images and feelings. I almost swallowed my tongue when you wrote about the cat watching the wren in the garage (I thought the wren was a gonner!) Then I stared at your sweet kitty for a long while and missed my dog ;-(

    Are we going to get pics of the new cut? I'm thinking about cutting mine and maybe getting some highlights, but I'm still thinking about it...

  17. So many requests for a picture of the new do. I'll post one soon.

  18. Wow, I was all set to tell you to send your hair to the Gulf, and you were already all over it! I don't know, it's hard for me to believe, but I must say that the areas under my furniture are remarkably oil-free.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.