There’s a Hedgehog in My Shower

The fox has many tricks, and hedgehog only one, but that is the best of all.  ~Archilochus

On the other side of Bountiful, there’s a hedgehog in my shower. That’s the back side of a blessing. It falls under Bountiful, because I thought it was a rat, or at least a very big mouse.

Henry doesn’t take much to toys, but my sister gave him a hedgehog, which he loves.

Heidi was playing fetch with him with when she gave the unassuming little hedgehog a mighty fling into Henry’s water bowl. He was hanging out in the shower to drip dry.

BUT, after having a very lively furry face to face just a couple of nights ago in the restroom, and the fact that I was using only the green glow from my cell phone for light, he gave me a start. All eyes can look beady at 3 a.m. in the soft green phone glow.

Particularly in light of other recent events. It was around 11 when Josh, the night pusher, came pounding on the door to tell me they’d called 911.

The transformer, which is at most 50 yards away, had begun a mini fireworks display, shooting sparks into the still moonless night sky. As many of you pointed out during the deliberation process, there are some obstacles to a quick get away in a 5th wheel. Whatever comes to mind, magnify that by the darkness and the fact the giant green septic wagon is parked directly in front of us.

Taking the RV and making a run for it was out of the question. The temperatures are cooler, but we’ve still had almost no rain, so the fire threat seemed very real.

The only question was whether or not to wake up Heidi and get ready to hit the highway.

In my typical aggressive style, I stood at the door and watched until the sheriff came, and maybe 30 minutes later, the electric company. They didn’t seem to be having much luck. After an hour and a half, I had finally decided we were too close for comfort and was just stepping away to wake her up when I heard a loud pop! and out went the transformer light and the sparks stopped! On the other side of  Bountiful, there was no fire!

I wouldn’t have hesitated to get her up except we’d had company the night before and she was up late and was pretty tired. You gate guards know how it can be when you get off schedule.

It started when the bells rang and no one was there. I stepped outside and out of the dark came a guy with a BIG backpack, yes big enough for big guns, who said his ride was on the other side of the gate and the company had sent him home for the night since they weren’t ready to run the casings. Hmm… He was heavy enough to ring the bells and that’s saying something!

There was another commotion at the door an hour later. No bells at all this time. The visitor arrived unannounced and refused to leave.

I’m still not certain how he got stuck there since it was pretty cold and both doors had been shut all day. Clearly he did not heed the WARNING sign on his way up.  He made a Trip to Bountiful as we opened the door and he dropped to the ground, living to re-enter another day.  And all the mice in the neighborhood continue laughing!

Friday the 13th

Today Friday the 13th.

According to Dr. Donald Dossey, folklore historian and founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, NC, this strikes terror in the hearts of 17 to 21 million people in the United States!

As with virtually all fears, this one, too, has a name: friggatriskaidekaphobia.

It comes from a combination of Friday, which in Old English is Frīġedæġ, meaning the day of Frige, and triskaidekaphobia, which is the fear of the number 13.

In 2009  there were 9 Friday the 13ths! This is the only one in 2011. In addition to being a great relief to those millions suffering from friggatriskaidekaphobia, having only one Friday the 13th this year should help our economy.

According to Dossey: It’s been estimated that in the U.S. $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day (Friday the 13th) because people will not fly or do business they would normally do.

Wow! If you’re not wild about crowds, this would probably be a great day to fly or buy!

I’m not superstitious. I attribute this mostly to my lack of imagination.

That doesn’t mean I’m without phobias. I have:

Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders. I’m also not keen on millipedes, centipedes or any other muti-legged bug

Alektorophobia – The fear of chickens. I’m not afraid of chicken per say, just of flapping headless chickens (bad childhood experience)

Allodoxaphobia – The fear of opinions. I’m not afraid of mine but I used to be afraid of everyone else’s. I’m in recovery.

Barophobia – The fear of gravity. I’m a 54-year-old woman. I also fall down a lot. I think this is a legitimate fear, not just phobia.

Cyberphobia – The fear of computers or working on a computer. I’m afraid I’ll accidentally hit the invisible permanently delete button.

I’m also afraid of being a disappointment to my dog (you can’t get much more disappointing than that) but I seem to stand alone with this one since it doesn’t have an official phobic label.

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.  ~German Proverb

The spider thing is occasionally inconvenient. I will kill them if they’re smaller than an S.O.S. pad, bigger than that and I seek shelter. Other phobias make friggatriskaidekaphobia and arachnophobia look painless. Imagine how tough it would be to cope with any of these:

Chronophobia-  The fear of time

Ambulophobia – The fear of walking

Genuphobia – The fear of knees

Cibophobia- The fear of food

Geniophobia- The fear of chins

Clinophobia- The fear of going to bed

Dextrophobia- The fear of objects at the right side of the body

Levophobia- The fear of things to the left side of the body

Cathisophobia- The fear of sitting

Stasibasiphobia – The fear of standing

Omphalophobia- The fear of belly buttons

Optophobia- The fear of opening one’s eyes

Somniphobia – The fear of sleep

Panophobia – The fear of everything

If it were only that simple. Maybe Friday the 13th is a good day to take a look at our fears, take a hold someone’s hand and tackle one.

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.  ~Andre Gide

And The Winner Is…?

Debbie, I liked your previous post because it paints an interesting picture of a common struggle. Last night being the Academy Awards, I began thinking about the leading role in my own musical soundtrack to life.  I don’t happen to be a fan of the character Guilt, but if you take these sentences and insert the crowning performance of Fear, then I can identify!

Even sadder and more isolating than the loneliest number is the mental music we play when we lose ourselves in FEAR. FEAR is the indulgence of the unquiet mind. FEAR is the musical we can’t dance to.

I have only recently learned to avoid the opening nights of that little number. Life is so much better if I can stop the intro to the music of Fear and just pray about the topic that prompted the first few strains. Sometimes I’m powerless to take a negative thought captive. That’s when I ask for help, if I’m smart. Sometimes it’s prayer, sometimes it’s a call to someone else. Either way, it’s identification of the musical and choosing to listen to something else.

Yesterday I was scouting out a new oil site and was afraid I was going to get lost. That was a legitimate fear. I was 8 miles away from Nixon, Texas (no, not Richard, but John T, as in rancher and founder) and aside from mesquite and dusty roads, it was all desert-like wasteland. The more turns I made into the wasteland, the harder my heart pounded. It wasn’t hard to recognize the leading role in my imagination. It was Fear without costume or makeup!

The leading role of Fear is not always so rational and obvious. In fact, it’s the no-so-obvious cameo appearances that really ramp up the fear musical that plays in my head.

Like one this morning. I have Zune on my laptop so that I can transfer music and pictures from there to my new Sourround windows phone. Ever since I installed Zune, my picture program, Picasa, stopped working. I uninstalled and reinstalled Picasa, just now but to no avail.

I have a love-hate thing going with technology. I love it when it works, but it can tank my day when I don’t know how to fix problems. It’s fear that really causes my day to start going south. Okay and maybe a little frustrated anger. I wanted to post a picture of the area around Nixon for this piece, but no. Just for the illustration of how stark life becomes when Fear takes the lead, I’ll leave this blog without a picture.

I am sure that some of our readers would suggest other emotions that mark a downward descent in their day.  I would like to ask them.

So, all you Lurkers out there…who takes the leading role of your negative musical?

1 Shotgun, 1 Window and Heidi

January 12, 2011  by Debbie

From what we hear from the guys passing in and out of our gate, the whole nation is shivering. Heidi disconnected the hose to our water tank, as instructed, last night but our holding tank froze up a little anyway. We turn on the water pump and try to run some hot water every hour or so. It’s cold here!

Cold is a relative condition defined, in part, by one‘s expectations. It’s about 36 degrees, may even make it to the low 40s, then back to 30 tonight. Back home in Iowa, that would seem like a pleasant January day. In Texas, in a not well insulated RV, it seems pretty chilly. It’s so cold, even the buzzards that are continuously circling (that can be a little disconcerting at times) have taken to huddling in the trees, waiting for their prey to freeze to death, I assume.

After talking today with 7 representatives of Direct TV, it was finally determined that I need to go to Camping World in a town north of San Antonio and buy my own dish. Maybe Sunday? It’s not technology but the attempt to acquire any technology that’s disturbing our peace.

That and weapons. I drove 5 miles back in to Bob and Mary’s this afternoon to look at the dish they bought at CW this week. It looks do-able and comes in a little suitcase, no tri-pod etc…

We talked about our friend who’s gate guarding and recently had the company search their RV for weapons, alcohol and excessive cash. No worries on any of those points should they search us, but I do find that to be pretty invasive. The word is that they suspected a gate guard (not our friends) was moving some drugs.

As often happens, our conversation shifted to safety, a daily topic out here. If you live in certain parts of the country, you talk a lot about weather. If you live 60 miles north of the border in Texas on wide open ranches, you talk a lot about safety. Bob and Mary, who are the sweetest couple, also felt strongly that we should have a gun, which we can’t buy in Texas since we aren’t Texas residents and we can’t have shipped to Texas since we aren’t Texas residents.

They decided the solution would be to loan us their 12 gauge shotgun, since they also have a rifle and someone shot a 5 foot rattlesnake in out in front of their place a few months ago. While I thought this might be a good idea, I didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to be the one handling the gun or getting the instructions, since I’m both clumsy and kind of disaster prone of late. So an hour or so later, Heidi went back to check it out. She grew up hunting and is certainly much more comfortable with guns than I am.

Heidi was wondering about the legality of having a weapon we don’t have a license for etc… She decided to go take a look and then go with her gut. It’s over 8 miles round trip on a wash board road to Bob and Mary’s, so it takes about 15 minutes to get to their gate and back. 18 minutes after she left, Heidi came barreling in the drive, spaying rocks and laying on the horn, presumably for me to rush out and open the gate, which I did.

She jumped out of the Jeep wide-eyed and went straight into the RV. I was thinking that maybe she was hiding the shotgun under the seat and that Border Patrol was coming?

In actuality, she was hyper-ventilating. 😉 In the process of showing Heidi how to use the gun and thinking it wasn’t loaded, Bob released the safety and pulled the trigger, standing in the living room of their RV. Mary had gone to Pleasanton, which I’m sure was a good thing since the shot shattered the window and passed through out into the wide-open, leaving a perfect hole.

Bob stated is his usual, laid back fashion that “I’ve been needing a new window anyway”. Neither the discharge of the gun or Heidi’s scream rattled him a bit. Heidi’s gut told her that this was a sign we maybe should just lock the doors, watch carefully for rattlesnakes, teach Henry not to bark at Javalinas.