Monday, June 27, 2011


We don't have a very good internet connection, actually the connection is fine but we're only allowed a certain number of megabytes per month. There is no cable connection so we had to go through a third party distributor. So with the wonderfulness that is the Wii and NetFlix streaming video we still have to sit through at least three "retrieving" bars per 20 minute show.

So far I've had trouble coming up with fun activities to so while the video is "retrieving" so I've poured that time into doing odd chores and jobs around the house until the video starts playing again. So far this has resulted in chores being half done all over the house but we manage to find time to finish up some how.

Still, at least we have internet access so we can get to e-mail and information we really need online (like what kind of bug bites are toxic to grown adults).

You never realize how much of your life is permeated by the internet until you don't have access to it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Things that will Bite in the Night

Last night was my first night back from house sitting and low and behold there was something waiting for me besides Kove. I started to doze off and to get more comfortable I started to extend my leg out from under the covers to get a little temperature regulation going. When I slid my foot under the comforter I felt a sharp snap on my foot. My immediate reaction was to say "ow" and then "something just bit me!" We flipped on the side table light and for a moment I thought maybe I was overreacting, maybe I just caught my foot on a zipper or something sharp. That's when Kove pulled back the covers and there it was . . . a centipede, and a big one at that. Thank goodness I wasn't wearing my contacts or glasses and could only see an outline of it or I would have lost it worse than I did!!

Kove got the bug out and disposed of it. I looked at my foot and sure enough I had two small puncture marks there, like a tiny vampire had bit me. And my foot began to sting and burn around the marks. So we got to work looking it up online and in the field guide we keep handy. We identified it as a Blue-Legged Centipede and when I saw pictures I was glad I didn't see the thing up close! We read a little more that implied it was not likely to kill me, but to keep track of my symptoms. So we put an ice pack on it and went back to bed, soon as the ice wore off it burned like crazy but I managed to fall asleep. I was interested to learn that they are indeed venomous and the common term for their maxillipeds is "poison claws" Wonderful. That made me feel a lot better.

On the flip side, I haven't experienced any of the other symptoms of a serious reaction, and I woke up feeling fine this morning, so i think I'm in the clear this time. Kove said it was a freak accident and we don't get those around very often, let alone in the house, but it's certainly giving me yet another thing to obsess over! And it will definitely change my bedtime routine: 1) brush teeth, 2) wash face, 3) set alarm, 4) check sheets for venomous blood-thirsty insects.

Centipede Bite

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

City Living

I house-sit for a friend on occasion and it gives me a chance to spend time in the city. There are a few things you notice when you've been out in the country for a while: 1) in the city there are five grocery stores within walking distance instead of one market 12 miles away and 2)there is a constant hum in the city. I can hear all different types of noises during the day, but for some reason everything gets louder at night. I never noticed this before. When I first moved out to the country I became very aware of how unnervingly quiet everything was. Except for maybe a few birds hear and there dotted by the occasional motorcycle caravan on their way up the mountain. It was a different kind of hum that seemed to come from the earth itself. But getting used to the general silence and coming back to the city has increased my appreciation of the quiet.

How often do you sit and listen to nothing? No stereo, no TV, no phone. What would you hear if you did? The countryside is therapeutic, and not in the "peace and quiet" sort of way your grandparents love. No, it is not because it is quiet. It is because listening to nothing reminds us to listen to ourselves. The quiet grounds us, it reminds us how small we are but how big we could be. City living has its perks, but I really miss the sound the earth makes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Town Mouse

"You're the Town Mouse in the country"

I choose this theme based on a recommendation from my mother, who happens to know all too well my secret fear of everything I'll find now that I have moved myself out into the hills of San Diego County. A place where you can find snow in spring but no population counts for any neighboring towns, including the one I live in. More on that later . . . to set the tone I thought I should kick it off with the story I'm basing this blog on. This version comes from the Victoria and Albert Museum collection of Aesop's fables, enjoy:

'Now you must know that a Town Mouse once upon a time went on a visit to his cousin in the country. He was rough and ready, this cousin, but he loved his town friend and made him heartily welcome. Beans and bacon, cheese and bread, were all he had to offer, but he offered them freely. The Town Mouse rather turned up his long nose at this country fare, and said:
"I cannot understand, Cousin, how you can put up with such poor food as this, but of course you cannot expect anything better in the country; come you with me and I will show you how to live. When you have been in town a week you will wonder how you could ever have stood a country life."
No sooner said than done: the two mice set off for the town and arrived at the Town Mouse's residence late at night.
"You will want some refreshment after our long journey," said the polite Town Mouse, and took his friend into the grand dining-room. There they found the remains of a fine feast, and soon the two mice were eating up jellies and cakes and all that was nice. Suddenly they heard growling and barking.
"What is that?" said the Country Mouse.
"It is only the dogs of the house," answered the other.
"Only!" said the Country Mouse. "I do not like that music at my dinner." Just at that moment the door flew open, in came two huge mastiffs, and the two mice had to scamper down and run off.
"Good-bye, Cousin," said the Country Mouse,
"What! going so soon?" said the other.
"Yes," he replied; "Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear."'