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Somehow I misplaced a few days this week.  It’s been a bit disorienting.  Last thing I remember it was last Friday, and I was thinking about all the things that had to happen before the bed bug exterminator came on Monday (we actually ended up rescheduling for Tuesday – we needed the extra 24 hours to prep).  Then it’s all one huge blur of packing, exhaustion, coffee, and many, many plastic bags.  Now it’s suddenly almost a week later and I’m on the other side, feeling like I’m recovering from the mother of all benders.  My head hurts, my body is sore, I want to sleep all the time, and I have that feeling like I know things happened, but I don’t really remember them very well.  But little by little I’m starting to get back on my feet again.  The exhaustion fog is starting to lift, and things are starting to get put back into place.  Maybe today I’ll even get around to putting the curtains back up.  Maybe.

This is what my house looks like right now: all of the rooms are empty, echoing shells with totally empty furniture placed randomly in the space.  Drawers are out of dressers, chairs are on their sides.  There are no curtains on the windows.  A few of the rooms, mostly bedrooms, have been reassembled.  Tuesday night I got my bed put back together, and then yesterday afternoon Rosie got hers put back together too.  My clothes are back in my room again, but except for essential toiletries and a very few very important papers, everything else is still in storage.  Storage in this case means the basement, which is full literally to the rafters with all our stuff.  It is full top to bottom, all the way from the bottom of the steps to the far wall, with one tiny walkway through.  This walkway has already been vitally important.  Tuesday night as I was trying to get my bed reassembled so that I could sleep, I discovered that my pillows had been bagged up and taken down to the basement with everything else.  When I went down to find them, they were on the top of the pile in the absolute farthest corner and I had to figure out a way to fight my way back to retrieve them.  I think it’s a very fortunate thing that I’m not claustrophobic.

Everything is sealed in plastic.  A few things are in the XL and XXL Ziplock bags, but buying those in quantity gets very expensive very fast, so the majority of stuff is in plastic garbage bags sealed with zip ties.  At the beginning, every bag was conscientiously labeled, but as we got down to the wire, that went out the window.  It’s was a very interesting guessing game yesterday trying to figure out which bag had my curtains in it.  These curtains are pretty important – my bedroom has three walls of windows, plus two glass French doors into Rosie and Johnnycakes’ rooms.  Last night I had enough energy to find the bag of curtains (we still haven’t found Rosie’s bedroom curtains, or the curtains for the living room), and to put them through the dryer to decontaminate them, but not enough to actually hang them up.  Hopefully I’ll be able to do that today.  But we’ll see.

When the exterminator came, he said we had prepped very, very well, and that he thought the treatment would probably be very effective.  However, we’ll have to wait and see.  The awful thing about bed bugs is that there are many pesticide-resistant strains out there, so while poison will kill most bed bugs most of the time, sometimes it doesn’t.  The only way to know for sure is to just live in the house, and see if any of us get bit again.  Most places need to have the exterminator out to retreat problem areas at least two or three times.  The good thing is that we won’t have to do the whole house prep for those, just the affected areas.

The heroes of the week are my family.  Indy and AP came and worked like dogs right along with us, staying until 3am, then going home to sleep for a few hours, and returning at 7:30am again to help us finish up.  Boy-O helped whenever he could, and AnniPotts too.  Mariah came twice to help, which is a amazing since she’s pretty much busier than God.  She also brought us a casserole, which I thought was very sweet.  Also, I think that’s the first time anyone’s brought me a casserole when I was in a time of need.  People brought my parents food when my brother died, but this is a first for me personally.  Mom and Dad had us over to dinner on Monday, serving the meal out in the back yard so we didn’t have to worry about changing into clean clothes before we came.  And then there’s Aunt C, who financed the exterminator and provided us with the desperately needed emotional & logistical support (she gave us a plan, which is so huge), and Aunt M, who helped finance all those plastic bags.  I remember how alone I felt the last time I had to deal with bed bugs.  This time has been the direct opposite of that, and I am so grateful.

God willing, hopefully the bed bugs are gone.  Now we wait and see.

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