Flying Blind

“It’s your thing, do what you wanna do. I can’t tell you, who to sock it to.” ~ Isley Brothers

Earlier this evening, I was looking for math and science stuff, for my 7th grader granddaughter.  I found two great math sites and a number of science sites as well. I thought beside Bill Nye—the science guy, who else can I get? Neil Degrasse Tyson! Yes! So, I come across this article from Wired Magazine. The headline screams, NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON IS A BLACK HOLE, SUCKING THE FUN OUT OF THE UNIVERSE! Well, that’s not very nice. The author, a Sam Kriss, axe murders Tyson, figuratively—of course. It’s funny and witty, but cruel in a vicious and mercilessly exacting, carnivorous way. He talks of running to the kitchen to slice open his wrists to avoid the onslaught of righteous dullness Tyson proffers up. He stops mid-rant, to query “Why can’t there be “Metaphor”, (Hmm metaphor? Metaphor!!! Have I found you?? I think to myself, yet again the universe is speaking to me! ) and Our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ.” Nice work if you can get it. Wired, you lost me at wrist slitting over science, but oy, I don’t subscribe. Later, Kriss suggests there’s a happy medium somewhere out there. So, let me backtrack here…

This entire week has been a bit crazy. And it and my life, that I finally have where I want it, sans a few kerfuffles here and there and the need to address some pesky arthritis, is all of a sudden feeling a bit in disarray and erratic… The floor seems to be shifting, I’ve lost my foothold and I feel like I’m hurtling through space, reaching for something to grasp onto—anything. Let me explain.

First off, there seems to be all of a sudden an abundance of ticks. Last year, my 3 dogs, went the whole spring and summer with maybe 3 1/2 ticks between the lot of them. When they come back in from being outside, they invariably come in with at least 1 and usually more. I’ve found them on my bed, on my floor and one I even found embedded in my hamstring—left leg, while I was showering. Insanity! How do you ever feel clean after such an unwarranted attack? I was mortified, so I decided to look up online what the tick story was for Spring 2016. Sure enough, there’s an over abundance of ticks in the Connecticut area. Also, there is a new species of Lyme Tick, straight outta Texas. Apparently these ticks don’t play. So, look out and defend yourself. I further learn that there is a method to their little tick madness. They lurk, they hang out, either hiding out behinds blades of grass or on the ground or in trees. They hang on with their two back legs, and either drop in or leap on to the “bandwagon,” hitching a ride, for their next meal. Ah sustenance. And if this kind of invasiveness wasn’t enough.

My daughter pulled my granddaughter out of school, to homeschool her. We’d been discussing it. My worry was that it would be primarily left up to me and I’m already not just a grandparent but a co-parent, in a big way. But, the homeschooling, it’s been a long time coming. The school has a number of issues and my granddaughter was and has been terribly unhappy there for a very long time—three years. It’s gotten so bad, to the point that she can’t pull herself out of bed in the morning. This is a child who, besides being tall and gorgeous and generally happy, is highly intelligent and witty, and funny and has the retention rate of a solid steel trap. And loves to learn. And read. So, we’re homeschooling her, flying blind, building the curriculum as we go. We’re teaching her things we think she’ll need as well as hardcore math. She’s tall, smart and beautiful. And thirteen. Queen of pushing limits. So, my nights and now my days, don’t seem like they’re quite my own. So, I crawl into my quiet zone—FaceBook. Note to self—hide elsewhere. If peace, love and happiness is what you’re about, don’t do it. Don’t go in for heavy handed discussions— avoid religion, politics the middle east, Great Britain, France, cute puppies, veganism,  and cloud formation. On all sides you’ll see the most horrific displays of wickedness and amorality, more nastiness and dread, than you could shake a bag of vipers at. Threats and/or wishes of beheadings, rape, child brutality and this isn’t even in a forum on the upside of Isis. It’s strange these most decent, middle-Americans, some of who are church goers or synagogue attendees, who mostly stand for good things, will get engourged with rage and spew.  It’s as if they hang out, clinging onto the hope of good standing and solid ground, waiting, waiting for the opportunity to latch on and go to town.

As, I wrap this up, I feel a little creepy crawly. Face it, after this tick invasion, I’ve been a tad jumpy. I felt a tickle under my shirt and I shrieked incoherently as I jumped up, pulling my shirt up, trying  to release this culprit from the depths of my cleavage. A piece of popcorn had fallen down my shirt. Nope, this is real and somehow this one is crawling and on my face no less. I stand up, I’m ready, armed and feeling a little combative. I have my trusty linter—the kind with the flypaper roll. My granddaughter figured out the common linter is the first line of defense in stabilizing ticks—they stick and can’t move. I brush him off, knocking him to the floor. And Wham! I smash the linter full force upon his tiny unsuspecting mindless tick body. He didn’t stand a chance. I walk over to the trash bin, peel the linter for a clean catch—the next go round. I almost but not quite, feel sorry for the poor guy, he was only hungry. I walk away. Dude was in my face. There is no happy medium to be found. He came, I saw, I conquered.

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