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Damn the Millers.  Damn them.  They are back.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you may perhaps recall last year, at almost exactly this time, we had a serious moth problem – I discussed it here.  From my many years in Colorado, and the discussions about the moth crisis last year, I thought this to be a cyclical thing, with the cycle being something like every 20 years.  Apparently, I was mistaken.

They are back with an enthusiasm that portends vengeance.  I thought it was just one or two – no big deal – but then realized that’s how it started last year.  And nightly, their numbers increase.  They flirt with self-destruction in the single bedroom light at night.  Their wings beat the walls and ceiling in the darkness.  They hide during the day, in folds of curtains, in underwear drawers (seriously?!), in shoes, like stalking lions, waiting to leap out upon the unsuspecting gazelle.

Kelsea came into my room last night at 1:30, and stood spectrally by my bedside, as she does when she wants to wake me.  It always works, no matter how quiet she is.  “There was an earwig on my pillow and a moth in my room,” she said sleepily.  The dutiful mother, I got up and killed them both and put her back to bed.  But at 2:30, the spectre was back.   “There are more moths in my room.  I can’t handle it.  I’m freaking out.  They’re flying at my face.  They chased me  out of the room.  I can’t stay here.  Can we call someone?  Why aren’t they at Dad’s house?  Can I sleep with you?”

Of course, she can and did sleep with me, and we both slept well, undisturbed and mothless.  I know they’ll be back today though, and tonight.  It IS creepy.  I don’t know how they get in the house, and I don’t want to entertain the thought that they’re hatching in here somewhere, but it has crossed my mind.  While the weather a few weeks ago was coolish and dampish, it has been hot since then, so I wouldn’t have thought that the breeding/migrating/whatever pattern from last year was being replicated.  I just don’t understand it.

What I do understand is that Kelsea (moreso than I, but I too, to a certain extent) has developed a veritable phobia about these buggers.  I truly thought last night that she wanted me to get out of bed and drive her to her Dad’s house at 2:30 am.  Of course, that will never happen.  She needs to get over it, and I need to figure out how to help her to do so.  When she was very small, she found a skunk skin in the backyard, and from that experience, developed a strong fear of skunks.  It eventually passed, but I tried many things to “cure” it:  stuffed skunks, skunks sweetly portrayed in cartoons, skunk puppets, discussing skunks, songs about skunks – nothing worked except time.

And I guess time is what it will take this time as well.  The good news is that neither of us have seen the following:  “In high populations, however, they have the unusual habit of banding together in army-like groups and may be seen crawling across fields or highways in large numbers.”  This is what the Colorado State University Department of Cooperative Extension says happens sometimes.  Thank you, NO.  I doubt we’d ever recover.

Well, time to go check every crack and crevice in the cottage for the creatures in an effort to drive them out before nightfall.  And to set the lightbulb bucket trap in the kitchen.  Say a little prayer for us.

I visited my shaman today and felt much better – it’s like therapy only different.  I highly encourage the curious among you to explore it..

Being around my new boss is like riding on Space Mountain in whatever amusement park that is..

I am worth little financially, but rich in spirit.

I’m ready to file the divorce papers.  It’s a bitter pill to swallow.

How do you get a window out of a window frame without making the whole house fall down?  Clearly, I’m not a handyman.  But it’s a matter of pride to figure out how to do this with no male assistance.  It’s not genetic, for heavens sakes.

Why has my home suddenly become a refuge for roly-polys?  I swear I put at least five outside each morning.  Is this a function of the house being feng-shuied?  And when I was growing up, we called them sowbugs.  Who instigated the name change?

Kelsea saw a bumper sticker that read “God was my co-pilot.  But we crashed in the mountains and I was forced to eat him.”  Irreverant?  You betcha.  But it makes me laugh, and God – or the Gods – like laughter.  A supreme being can’t take itself too seriously.

This morning I noticed that the light was edging towards fall.  It was dimmer and cooler when I awoke.  Plums are nearing heavy on the trees. 

Horse and Pony from the house on the corner have gone.  I do not know where they went, but since the house is for sale, I have to assume they won’t be back.  I miss them.  I used to say good morning to them every day on my way out, and hi to them every evening on my way home.

I seem to write in my head a lot, but when it comes time to put it down, I can’t find it anymore.  I kind of miss writing on paper.  There was something so permanent and personal about it, much moreso than typing on a computer. 

Remember the days of the typewriter, with the ribbon, and carbon paper?  And how excited we were when the erasing backspace key came into existence?  Kids today….so spoiled!

I need reading glasses – ick.

It seems extremely unfair to have hot flashes WHILE you are having your period.  One OR the other, okay, hormones?   (TMI, but then I have a tendency to speak my mind.)

Captain Jack the Rubber Chicken stands watch beside the clock radio in the bedroom.  No household is complete without a rubber chicken.

Tomorrow is going to be a very, very long work day – lots to do at both jobs.

And so,

Good night.

rubber chicken

Yes, taking liberties with the lyrics of Hotel California — but it’s justified.

About 20 years ago, Colorado suffered a Miller moth infestation the likes of which had not been seen for decades.  Resulting from an exceptionally wet spring on the plains, millions of these little buggers migrated through the state over the course of a few weeks in June.  The majority of them used my apartment as a rest stop, bed and breakfast and highway oasis. 

I had never heard of Miller moths before.  Apparently, they weren’t a big insect in North Carolina.  In fact, they were first brought to my attention while on a picnic with another couple somewhere up in the mountains.  I remember the male half of the pair saying he was “laying in bed looking at the Millers on the ceiling.”  I had no clue what he was talking about – in fact, I thought that he was laying in bed imagining beer bottles on the ceiling – that made no sense, but I’d never met him before, so I couldn’t rule it out.

On the way home, Pat clarified the Miller vision for me.  It was as if that one statement opened an energetic channel to the beasties. The very next day, they started visiting.  When I turned the blinds in the kitchen, a dozen flew out.  When I turned on the fan in the truck, twenty were launched at my face by the airflow.  When I went up the stairs to the apartment, thirty were resting on the walls — just waiting.  Can you say traumatic?  They actually did create an extra level of stress.  I could not have been more relieved when they stopped coming.  Every year since, I’ve cast a slightly worried eye to the skies but they have remained relatively mothless.  Until now…..

They’re baaaaaaccckkkk.

I noticed them when I got back from Baltimore last week –  just a few moths, like most years, so I thought nothing of it.  But the weather was cool and damp.  And they kept coming.  And coming.

Opening the front door one morning, there were half a dozen on the mat.  ‘That’s odd,’ I thought, ‘What unusual behavior for moths.’  That evening, there were a dozen trapped between the inner and outer glass panes of the little window in the living room, wings beating frantically, seeking but not finding, a way out.  How did they get in there?  I couldn’t say.  At least they were not in the living room.  Yet.

The following evening, Kelsea noticed a few in the house.  She disposed of them as humanely as possible.  When I spoke to her via chat the next day, she said a dozen were attacking her, and trying to eat her face.  They’d finally made inroads into our living space.

When I came home that night, and opened the door, twenty of them swooped down into my hair and into the house.  Ewwwwww.  I started counting the dark spots on the walls, carrying the flyswatter around with me (and yes, even sleeping with it).  Swinging at them when they’d fly by my nose.  Leaving little splotches of sienna on the curtains after a successful kill.  Watching them suicide with a sizzle and thump in the track lights high in the bedroom ceiling.  Last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I could hear their wings fluttering against the shades, the plaster, the iron of the headboard.  It was like something out of a Hitchcock movie.  Mothra come to life, without the three-inch tall singing Japanese girls.

It is their skittishness and speed that are so disquieting, and their frenetic flight as they try to regain their freedom to live out their short little moth lives.  And I fear their collective moth-mind – will they hover over my sleeping form, so that I inhale them as I dream?

It really has to end soon.  I’m on edge enough as it is.  And there’s one outside the window on the ledge right now… Please, someone bring the pink champagne.

kl5i2s-0613miller

April 2014
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