Parasites SUCK.

Soooo…Yesterday morning started like every other. I get up, go to the bathroom – but I notice as I lift my shirt that I have this little black speck on my belly. It looks like a tiny seed bead. My daughters and I had spent the better part of the previous afternoon making jewelry on my bed, so you KNOW there were beads scattered everywhere. I pick the little sucker off my stomach and P-TOING! flick it away. I’m still kinda half asleep, and when I look again, I notice there’s a purplish mark where it’d been. DAMN cheap beads. So I lick my finger to wipe away the stain. Lick, wipe, lick, wipe. But it doesn’t go away.

Hmm. I look more closely – and am jolted awake by the realization that THAT tain’t no cheap bead, that mustabeen…. a BUG. Oh MY GOODNESSS. I peer around me on the floor, looking for the tiny black speck, and there, lo and behold, it is. I press it to my fingertip, raise it to my eyes. It looks like a teesy tiny seed, but when I look reeeeeaaaaaaaaallllly close, I can indeed see. it’s got LEGS.


My husband comes running. He isolates the thing in a small lidded jar. I then place the jar into a ziplock bag. B/c YOU CANNOT BE TOO CAREFUL. I call the doctor, they are about to put me on hold, when I announce “I have just been bitten by a deer tick.” They patch me right through. And so the ladies & spent the better part of yesterday rectifying my “little problem.”

You can see from the above photo how a sleep-ridden mind could indeed mistake this tiny bullseye mark for say… a freckle. or Cheap bead stain. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I found the tick on me, so there was no mistaking it. After a few minutes, anyway.

Here he is in the babyfood jar. I was feeling brave – this was taken w/out the additional plastic sheathing.

Now, here he is this morning. I am thinking he is dead. GOOD. He was waaaay bigger when I plucked him off my stomach. [Yes, I did have to tell you that.] That is a pencil point next to him. YES he is UNBELIEVABLY TINY. So WATCH OUT.

I did some online research and have concluded it was a nymph (juvenile) which bit me. The adults are quite a bit larger and more leggy. The nurse practitioner shone a light on him yesterday to establish his identity and color. Although he looks black to me, in the light he was indeed a reddish-brown. Perhaps from the blood he had stolen. Bastard. The nurse asked us what we were going to name him, so I chose Evil. which seems to fit him nicely. She gave me a prescription for a one-time mega-dose of Doxycycline (which I took last night) and said that I should be fine.

So, yesterday – b/c we have instituted this NO DRIVING DURING THE WEEK rule at our house – the ladies & I had to walk into town & back to get to the doctor’s office. Over 10 miles. As a treat, we meandered back via the Reading Terminal Market, and then South Street, of course treating ourselves to some TREATS. When you get bit by a damn deer tick, you milk it for All it’s Worth. Needless to say, everywhere we went, my younger daughter would reach her hand right into my purse, pull out that crazy ass bagged jar and announce to all & sundry MY MOMMY WAS BITTEN BY A TICK and HERE HE ISSSSSSSSSS. After the first couple times, I knew the routine & would head her off @ the pass. Somehow, I didn’t really want to share the whole story (along w/ specimen) w/ the girl at the cheap earrings shoppe. I am sure she was grateful.

Weekend with Mommy

My weekend in one word:


And in two:

CHA CHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who are vision impaired, Saturday night I won $738.50 at the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa on a slot machine. I will NOT tell you which one b/c it is now my secret luckiest winniest machine ever and MINE ALONE. Plus I do NOT want to encourage anyone in the folly that is gambling. Let’s face it folks, you are probably better off going into the bathroom, taking out your wallet and flushing it down the toilet than to try to WIN AT GAMBLING b/c it ain’t gonna happen. EXCEPT FOR ME!!!!!!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

What a magnificently crazy fun-filled weekend!! Today I am trying to get back into the swing of things, but frankly I’m really not feeling much inclined. And who can blame me? The prospect of laundry and chores, bleech. I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet, and I might not now b/c I AM RICH. I am ready to retire for good. Like my good friend Jim next door who has thrown in the towel after 36 glorious years. And I am not speaking of 36 years of WORK – Oh NO! He is 36 and has decided to retire. B/c THAT is West Philly living and I LOVE IT!

SO where was I?? Oh yes, the weekend was grand. Well to be honest it started out a little shitty, but what else could it be when a sewer line backs up into your basement? Ahhhhh. Nothing like the smell of poop in the morning. Or the afternoon. Cause that’s how long it took us to remedy THAT lil problem. And by US you know of course I mean my beloved husband, b/c he’s the one who had to touch the stuff. YUM-YUM. Here is a photo for your enjoyment:

Look at that hand. He joked that he was going to rinse it in gasoline, but I do not think he actually did. At least not while I was watching. He had to go to the Home Depot and rent a big giant snake. It is a tool for plunging out your sewer line and not the fanged animal of course, though that would have been preferable to the poo. So the weekend’s festivities got off to a bit of a late start, but you can see how Saturday night finished, so who cares. right? My husband is the BEST.

Sunday we took in the last day at the Philadelphia Flower Show. They were not being persnickety about which door you used either, much to my relief. Though of course you had to buy tickets which of course did not come cheap. But that’s o-kay b/c our weekend was ON THE BORGATA. So the flowers were fun, the swarming masses much less so. We ate lunch across the street at the Reading Terminal Market. We had cheesesteaks at Rick’s, which is still there, at least until the court date in June. I had not eaten at Rick’s for quite some time and realized why. No offense to Rick’s, but they are one of the few (if only) Philly cheesesteak joints that 1) don’t chop their meat, which I don’t care for, and 2) offer the “works” aka lettuce & tomato on the steaks. As a Philadelphian I have to say this is weird. I have eaten steaks all my life and have yet, until this weekend, to see hoagie fixins on one unless it’s a HOAGIE. Oh well. It was otherwise o-kay. And of course we had Bassett’s which rocks above all others. I had pumpkin AND peach on one cone and it was simply Heaven in an ice cream.

Yesterday we spent the day at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska. My parents used to live minutes from there in New Hope, and my mommy hadn’t been back since moving to Atlanta. Almost a year and a half ago. So we took the tour and tooled past her old pad. It was not looking too bad, but it just wasn’t the same. We spent the rest of the afternoon eating and playing games at Giggleberry Fair, the Peddler’s Village (slightly) less commercial equivalent of a Chuck E. Cheese. Since it was a Monday afternoon, it was D-E-A-D. My mom took the girls on the carousel and the older man who runs the thing let them stay on waaay longer than normal. I believe out of sheer boredom. It was great fun the first 5-10 minutes, but after that all three of them looked a bit queezy. My husband & I were both very glad to be watching from a bench. Afterward, we hit the outlets. My mommy bought the girls a HUGE bag full of stuff from the Children’s Place, they must have gotten like 5 outfits each. Everything was BEYOND CHEAP, like 99 cents, $2, $3. CRAZY. I think she spent $70 total on the whole lot of it. I really like the Children’s Place very cute & colorful clothing, but some of their stuff can lean distinctly towards trampville. Hoochie mama gear on women is mildly entertaining; on a 4 year old it is criminal.

My mommy also bought me the rockingest pair of shoes. They look like granny shoes, here I am wearing them:

YES they ARE COOL. They will look better w/out my fuzzy polka dot socks, but they still look great even with them. WOW. I love these shoes. I used to have a pair like this back in the early 90s (that’s 1990s NOT 1890s, though they probably looked just like this back then too). My friend Daffy just bought a similar pair. Yay! Okay now all you crazy salivating foot and shoe fetishists can MOVE ON.

SO I had been thinking of buying a sewing machine with my remaining Borgata winnings, but when we went to JoAnn Fabrics yesterday to check out the machines all they sold were Vikings. I’d read great things about Brother machines; not only are they inexpensive but they are supposed to be FABULOUS. So I passed on the $400 unknown Viking. I am going to continue researching. or maybe I will stumble into one at a thrift shoppe for an irresistible LOW LOW price and go for it. I am lucky, you know. But now that my mommy has once again returned south, the whole idea seems less pressing. Or maybe just less fun.

My mommy left at the crack of dawn this morn, leaving behind the faint scent of her perfume and the familiar dull ache which has returned once more to my heart. I know that there are people out there who have awful mommies. and I feel so badly for them. BUT I do not exaggerate when I say that my mommy is simply THE BEST MOMMY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. Unfortunately for us, she is also a successful executive who now lives 800 miles away in ATLANTA. SO unlike yours truly, she can’t just hang out in West Philly for all eternity not brushing her teeth. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond proud of my mom. To me as well as the rest of the world she is a certifiable SUCCESS in every way. And being a success is a good thing. But being on the receiving end of success sometimes truly sucks. I miss her. I wish she didn’t have to work so hard for people who don’t really care about her. My daughters sob when she leaves. And so do I.. Which is better?

All-in-all, this weekend of fun with my mommy has reminded me of several things. Poop smells. Gambling does not pay unless YOU WIN. And I would rather be with my family and have less money, than be rich & successful apart from them. YES money can be great, especially when you are poor. But it cannot buy you happiness. A lesson that Eliot Spitzer should have learned, but. unfortunately some never do.