Saturday, May 14, 2011


You may have noticed I've been blogging less frequently, lately.  I've spent so much time vacuuming that I've had none left for blogging.

I've been vacuuming so much that--when I vacuum my entire house (including under my furniture) and dutifully uncap and empty my canister--what lands in the bushes is smaller than a cottonball.  My carpets have never been so well-vacuumed.

I have no choice.  I'm trying to reclaim my house from fleas.

I'm not sure exactly when the problem began.  My mom didn't see any fleas when she visited toward the end of March.  I'd seen the cat scratching here and there but thought nothing of it because she's strictly indoor; I'd never treated her for fleas. 

I saw the first flea shortly after Mom left.  Clementine was wearing her black pajama pants inside-out and couldn't see the glow-in-the-dark, skeleton bones on them, so I stripped them down to turn them right-side-out.  When I did, I saw a flea leap out of her pants.  She had a ring of bites on her left ankle.

Shamefully, even then, I didn't think we had a problem.  Instead, I laughed and thought: how like the Wild Orange to manage to get a flea (of all things!) trapped in her pants!

About a month passed, and I didn't see any more fleas, but within the past two weeks?  An eruption!  They're everywhere! 

We've treated the cat three times, in three different ways.  We've vacuumed obsessively.  We've changed our sheets, sprinkled stuff into our carpets, and set up homemade flea traps with flashlights and soapy water.

We've sent Cade to sleep at his dad's.  (Cade and Jim have gotten bitten a few times, and the fleas like to gather on their white socks.  The fleas ignore Charleigh and me almost entirely.)

We've covered Clementine's face with a towel and sprayed her head to toe with OFF!.  Several times a day.  Still, fleas bite her, and she scratches and bleeds and scabs, and I tell you, few things have ever hurt my heart like the sight of the Wild Orange covered in OFF! and Aquaphor and neon BAND-AIDs and flea bites

We've paid an exterminator.  Whatever he did, a week ago, worked for approximately two days.  I called him yesterday.  He said he can't use his product more frequently than every two weeks or so.  He said: "Just keep vacuuming.  If you're still seeing fleas on Monday, call me, and I'll come out on Wednesday."  In the meantime, my Ana Bana Beana Clementine is sleeping on her belly, in long pant legs and sleeves, with a hood up over the back of her head.

If you were to gaze upon the unclothed body of the Wild Orange, you would think you've never seen a child so neglected-looking and pitiful, and I'm telling you: it breaks my mommy heart. 

I want to rip up every shred of carpet in this house and throw it in the yard, along with every mattress and piece of upholstered furniture we own.  Or, better yet, say goodbye and good riddance to this log cabin in the woods.  I thought we would be so happy, here, but one thing after another has broken, and, now, fleas...

I don't know why this plague; there appear to be no Corrie ten Boom reasons for fleas, here.  I can't help but think God is calling me to focus on my house, and--even as fleas leap and bite--rooms become cleaner and more organized than they've been for some time. 

Additionally, I've had a lot of opportunity to consider the value in proactivity (How I regret not treating my indoor cat for fleas!) and paying attention and addressing problems at the first hint of trouble.  And with that, I close this post with what may be the answer to a different (and even bigger) issue. 

(William Faulker once wrote: "I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it.)

Please pray for me?  (I'm so discouraged.)

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