Saturday, October 3, 2009

What a week! Chickens, Lice, and the book

As I wrote this to a friend, I thought about putting it here, to share with anyone else who might want to hear about my life. Let me know if you're out there...

Well, the chickens weren't the big news this week. The lice were. Last week two of the girls at Wildcat (same family) discovered they had lice. So their family went through all that. When I got the email, I had R (my son, 7) come over to me, and I looked through the hair at the nape of his neck. I didn't see anything, and I figured we were ok.

On Thursday, they did a lice check at school. They found lice on R, and I had them check me. I had the worst lice they'd seen. Big ones, little ones, nits - lots of everything. S was recommending this place called Lice Control. "You go there, they get rid of all of it. You don't spend hours." I called and they said they didn't have a salon any more, but they could come to my home. The price they quoted on the phone sounded about the same. It didn't end up the same. I paid $325! Which I can't afford. But it's still the best thing. I would have been stressed for days and weeks, trying to do a good enough job, and worrying about how hard it is to see them. He offered us a free 2nd treatment on Monday, when they're training people. So we're driving to Castro Valley (half hour), and getting re-treated.

He said he usually gets everything out on the first treatment, but R's case was bad (worse than mine), and he was sure there were still nits. He asked me to cut R's hair. So last night D cut his hair. He now has a Mohawk. This is his first 'fun' haircut ever.

This company says the lice can't live more than 24 hours off a person's head. They recommend laundering everything you can and vacuuming the rest, and then staying away from anything that could have had the lice on it, for 24 hours. Did all that. I still have the throw rugs to launder, and piles of stuff in the laundry room, waiting to come out of seclusion. I'm going to do it again with the sheets on Monday, in case we got some lice on them.

There's one more chapter to this story. It really started back in May. My head was itching, so I went to the doctor to see if I had lice. He checked (thoroughly, I thought), and told me I did not have lice. I've been itching for 5 months, and trying to find a good shampoo that wouldn't do this to me. I am itching a little this morning, but I itched a lot less yesterday. I'm thinking it was lice the whole time. I had to write the people who come to my math salon, and tell them - if you sat in my recliner, you may have been exposed... (Embarassing!) I was also angry, thinking about how badly I'd been itching, and how the doctor misled me.

OK. Now I can write about chickens. We got the first one on Saturday evening. We went to S's house, and no one was home. She had told us we could go in back and catch some, so we went in back and managed to catch one. It was quite an ordeal. Her yard is really steep, heading down to a stream. It's rocky and I worry about slipping. It's even like that inside the chicken run. So I was pleased I managed to catch one. We went back on Monday, and she caught us two more.

The first one R named Blackie. She's really dark red and brown. The other two are a lighter brown (reddish too). I need to find out what kind they are. Blackie spent Sunday hiding behind a big brush pile, and I finally had to go behind there with a broom (mostly to get the spiders out of my way), to get her out. After her day of freedom, she wouldn't come out of the coop for a few days. So the first time I saw Squawky chasing her and pecking at her was on Thursday, I think. I put Squawky in the coop for the day, and did she ever hate it! Yesterday they were all in the run together, and they seemed to be OK. We'll see... (Squawky sure rules the roost. I call her Queen Squawk.)

The flies have come. I don't have any screens on my house, so I'll have to deal with that eventually. I still don't have straw, so they haven't gone into the laying boxes in the back of the coop yet. I'm hoping to find that today. The place I bought the feed doesn't have it.

We've gotten 3 eggs so far. I'm still using up the 'boughten' eggs I had in the fridge. When those are done, we'll pretty much ration ourselves to what the girls provide. I'd like to let them out to run around the yard and eat the snails, but I want to fix the fence in one place first, and clear out a better path behind that brush pile.

I had thought my big news this week would be all the chapters for the book arriving. I kept all day Thursday and Friday clear for editing and was so eager for it. Wednesday was the deadline, and I kept checking my email. One chapter came in around 5 pm, and I read it over and sent him some quick comments ("More detail! Tell me more about those students!"), and went back to checking for more chapters. None came. And none came on Thursday. Yesterday morning I emailed all the people who were supposed to send one on Wednesday. No reply yet from any of them... I'm getting nervous. Maybe they needed the weekend. I will hope everyone will come through.


And that's how my week went. Too busy with the lice and the chickens to post here until now.


  1. Eww! Lice!! Ugh. Our family went through a similar experience recently, and I have to say this is not an experience I would wish on anyone! Lice are getting REDICULOUSLY difficult to kill. You know its bad when more and more of these lice and nit picking "salons" are popping up all over the place.

    Parents are going nuts w/ these things, in part because the schools will NOT let your child back until they are completely gone. Anyway, our family used and we are happy to say our lice nightmare is behind us.

    I love chickens! they are so cute, its nice to have your own like that. I would love to get a large farm and have a simple lake nearby where all the birds can gather too. :) Ahhh...that would be nice.

    Thanks for the article!!


  2. Scott, your family used, or your family runs as a small business? I wanted to say hi and I see your profile leads to that website.