Living in East Texas 101

I spent the first 16 years of life in the woods of northern Virginia. I loved the woods. Without fear I played in them, made teepees, went fishing and hand fed a skunk. I milked cows, fed the pigs and chopped the head off a chicken because mama said we didn’t have anything to eat and company was coming. You get the picture. I was a country girl.

Twenty years ago we moved to the country. Tall pines that seemed to touch the sky, spider wart growing wild in the meadow, the wild daffodils and narcissus  followed by the white iris. It was unbelievably beautiful.

And then one day I breached the first rule of East Texas 101. stuck my hand under a shrub to get some dead leaves. Company was coming and I was making a final inspection of the property. The next second I was facing a white, open mouth  attached to the body of a rather unattractive snake with a nasty attitude.

We know the rest of the story. I survived but almost got my head bit off by my loving husband. 

I learned about fire ants. I rescued an abandoned pointer that could smell a pit viper 50 feet away and destroy it in minutes.

I’ve learned so much and my performance has reflected my progress.But today was the last straw.

I have been around ticks, probably fleas too. We picked them off the dogs when they looked like a real, black, Tahitian pearls. Now we don’t worry about  pests such as those. We simply give our dogs meds. 

I spend a lot of time outside and walk my dogs thru the woods. I do a tick check on myself, otherwise the dogs would not let me get into our bed.

Yesterday evening my belly button started itching.  We have mosquitoes by the thousands so I assumed it was a mosquito bite. During the night I had to retrieve calamine lotion which didn’t help.

This morning I went to my official source of health care and asked, “why is my belly button red, itchy, hot and swollen.?” The possibilities ranged from bad to nauseating.

However much advice suggesting looking inside the belly button. With tweezers in hand I pried open my inny belly button looking for fluid, scabs, anything. And then a spotted a tiny thin brown piece of a scab. I pulled on it and the scab was bigger. I checked the scab under a magnifying glass and the scab had legs. It was a (bad word, bad word) dead tick.

Not covered in East Texas 101. I went to my husband’s office, told him it wasn’t covered in the class and pick out the moving company. Dead ticks in my belly button are not acceptable.


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