Monday, November 15 2021

a wagon ride, cleaning the roach bin, and race day

page banner

Dear Journal,

Good morning, friends of the journal. Happy Monday. It's going to be hard shaking off the rust after such a long weekend, but a peaceful, dreary morning is a pretty good start. We've been teetering on the first snow for the last few days. We even saw some real snowflakes yesterday. But snow or not, these grey clouds aren't going anywhere this week, and maybe that will set the tone for contemplation. This is thinking weather, writing weather, and drinking coffee weather.

Sip. I had off work last Friday. Marissa and the dogs spent the day at an agility trial, and with Rodney off at school, Miles and I held things down at home. I hacked on my website while Miles watched Blues Clues all morning. Occasionally we met at the baby gate for a brief chat, like our own version of a water cooler.


So, see any good NERF guns lately?

Together, we dined on an exploded peanut butter and jelly, following it up with some apple slices.


How do I like 'dem' apples? Quite fond of them, actually!

Without a car, we'd have to pick Rodney up from school by wagon. The forecast warned of snow, so I had no choice but to bundle Miles up in his head-to-toe snow suit. Shortly after cinching the zipper shut, I discovered Miles had outgrown the suit a few months ago.


Into the wild!

He couldn't even straighten his legs. But it serviced us for our long, cold walk to school just fine. In fact, him not being able to curiosly wriggle out of the wagon while it hurdled down the sidewalk worked to my advantage.


"So much wilderness. Will it ever be conquered?" ponders Miles as he scans our neighborhood.

Miles, weary from our dangerous journey, retired to his chambers for an afternoon nap. Rodney and I got to work cleaning out the roach bin. Together, we dumped the roaches into a temporary bin and wiped down their enclosure.


For fear I would mess something up and accidentally release a hoard of well-established roaches into our house, we conducted our business outside on the deck. But the cold air gave me a scare. As soon as I took the lid off and shook the roaches out, they huddled together in the corner for warmth - then all at once they stopped moving. Rodney and I hurried through the rest of the operation, transferring them back into a clean enclosure.

I'm not sure how effective the cleaning was. I couldn't figure out how to best separate the live roaches from the debris, and feeling rushed to get them back inside the enclosure, I just dumped everything back in. But at least they have a clean box and a bed of fresh oats.

I was relieved to see the pile of roaches quicken with life again. After only an hour, they scurried back into hiding. I'm glad that roaches are so resilient. But with the ongoing spider-diet, this is a good opportunity for them to re-acclimate and boost their numbers.

Yes, I'm still sticking strong to the spider diet, and I've noticed more activity from everyone - even Spiker, who has been hiding in his cave since his first night. This weekend, I saw a tiny fuzzy leg at the mouth of his walled-in hide.

We also had a molt over the weekend. Leo spun a silky bed on the highest leaf in his box. Like a death-defying stunt, he flipped over on his back and proceeded to climb out of his former self.


An acrobatic molt.

His orange stripes are brighter now, and there is a green metallic shimmer in his legs.


Leo catching his breath after a long, arduous molt.

It was also race weekend. On Sunday, Marissa and I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 AM, leaving our sleeping house to our trusted baby sitter Finley. I hung around while Marissa stretched and warmed up at the starting line. We marveled at how many people showed up to run in tight shorts and thin spandex. Some were even shirtless.

"See I'm not a runner," laughed Marissa. "Those people are runners."

I saw Marissa off at the starting line.


I barely caught her on the other side of the capital to take her coat mid stride. I waited at a coffee shop while she powered through the 10K. An hour later, she crossed the finished line with a big tired smile frozen to her face.


"I just didn't want to get last place," said Marissa. And that proved to be a low bar for her final time. She finished in the top 50% of women that ran the 10K.


If you see Marissa today, congratulate her on a finished race. As for me, I'm going to go ahead and start my week. Thanks for stopping by today, have a great Monday everyone.