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Archive | October, 2016

Spider Slaughter

29 Oct

I had (hopefully it is in the past tense!) a spider infestation. And by that I don’t mean more were coming in lately because the weather is changing and I had to squish a couple more than I am comfy with. I mean I was getting bit by them, finding swarms of them hidden under things (the cats bed if you want specifics), having them drop down from the ceiling, waking to find them eye balling me from the top of the wall above my bed, coming home to massive webs in my bathroom that are covered with a freakish amount of baby spiders, sharing my showers with them, finding them crawling on my bed…basically they were everywhere and I was losing the battle!

One of me. Endless amounts of them. You do the math for who is going to win…

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I read everything I could online about what to do. Common results were that spiders hate citrus and to use lemon scented cleaners etc so that is what I did. I took everything out of my bedroom (minus the heavy furniture I couldn’t move) and scrubbed every surface down with a liberal amount of hot water and Mr. Clean lemon cleaner. It seemed to help a bit, but it isn’t like it is a permanent solution.

I waited to go to my landlord because while I knew I was seeing, and killing, a lot of spiders, I had never caught one in the act of biting me, the bites were mysteriously appearing, or when I got bit my arm (or leg, or torso etc) was leaning against something, or covered by something, basically not visible, so I’d feel the pain of the bite, yank the assaulted body part away, but not see what did it.

Talk about annoying.

Well, Β that all changed when I was vacuuming, I lifted the cat’s bed up to move it and decided for some random reason to lift it high so I could look underneath. The bottom of the bed was a dark brown and I’m looking at it, thinking I’m being a nutter when I see a dark brown spider moving along the bottom of the bed. I’m holding paper towel so I squish it, then I see another, so I squish it, then I see a third and I start to worry so I flip the entire bed upside down and boom! Swarm of dark brown spiders! Everywhere! They are everywhere and moving fast! I moved to the kitchen, I was worried if some of them leaped to the carpet I wouldn’t be able to see them to kill them and the kitchen floor is pale laminate. I’m not able to kill them fast enough and the creepiest of all creepy things happened, one got on my arm! Made a beeline for I dunno, higher up my arm? All I know was I was trying to get the entire bed in to a garbage bag so I can tie it off and get it outside and one of the little bastards got on my arm so I do the totally grown-up thing of freaking out and I start swatting at my own arm like that is going to magically make things better…all while trying desperately to not shake any of the other spiders off the bed on to the floor. I did manage to kill the spider that was on my arm but not before I felt a sharp pain and a new bite mark appeared on my body. sigh.

In case you are wondering, spider bites hurt, for days. Highly unpleasant.

That was my breaking point. Up until then I had been trying to deal with the situation myself but nope, no more. The next night when my landlord was home I went and knocked on his and his wife’s door and explained the situation, explained I was up to over a dozen bites, that I now knew for sure they were spider bites, I had done everything I could think of to do and now they needed to fix this situation.

He swore he’d call for pest control the very next day, and I did get a text from him saying he called a couple places but all were booked up for the next two weeks, so he brought me some cans of raid and this weird contraption that I was supposed to use to try to trap a spider so the pest control (when they finally got here) could see what kind of spider was inhabiting my place.

Couple problems with that…one, I can’t use Raid, I have a cat who I am not actively trying to poison so yeah…can’t spray that stuff in here. Two, no way in hell am I taking a chance at catching a spider, missing, and having it run off. I see a spider and I immediately kill it, there is no pausing for an attempted capture. Three, I have so many different types of spiders in here, I’d have to capture one of each for this idea of showing the spider to the pest control people plan to be any good and there is no way I am going to attempt to make a collection of the different types of spiders. Nuh-uh.

I made nooooo attempt to capture any of them. I just killed them.

I went to DC, came home, hadn’t heard from my landlord about the spider situation for a while, managed to take a picture of one chilling on my ceiling when I woke up one day so I could text it to him and that is when I find out he was sort of hoping the Raid had magically solved everything and he wouldn’t have to call for pest control because it is pricey.

Well duh, of course the Raid hadn’t done anything! Even if I had been using it daily it doesn’t go and find the spider eggs and nests and whatever the hell else they have, the spider has to walk through it or be sprayed directly by it to die. The house in infested! Someone has to kill them at their source!

So he finally calls for pest control, and pest control calls me to arrange a day to come, which I thought was really nice, letting me pick the day, most landlords would arrange it to their schedule and screw it if the tenant is working or not.

I had to pack away a whole lot of stuff, move all furniture 12″ from the walls, and arrange for my houseplant, the cat, and myself to be gone for the day. I chose for the spraying to be done on one of my days off, dragged a friend to help move the furniture and pack stuff the night before, and spent one of my precious days off at work in the staff room with the cat because where the hell else am I going to take a cat for the day? Not like it is a dog and we can just go on an epic hike…

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Cat Logic: If he can’t see anything then the scary visit to my work isn’t reeeeally happening, right? He spent most of the day hiding underneath that cushion or my hoodie.

Happy note: everyone at work loved the little furball, which isn’t surprising considering how awesome he is. πŸ™‚

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See how cute he is when he isn’t feeling terrorized?

As soon as we were home that evening, same friend in tow to help me put the furniture back, I opened all windows to air the place out (as per instructions) and what do I find but a spider, alive and well, on my bedroom window frame.

Crap.

I texted my landlady to let her know, and remind her the company has a 100 day guarantee, and her response was to keep an eye on things and see if I see any more in coming days. sigh.

My friend and I got the heavy furniture put back, and some stuff put away, but not really unpacked, just moved around to make my space more livable, I drove her home, then came home and washed all my bedding (cause hello, poison sprayed everywhere, I wanted clean bedding!) and all my clothes that were out, towels…you get the idea.

I have confusing information from the pest control people, I am not supposed to come in to contact with any of the sprayed areas but am also not allowed to clean or use any cleaning products because that will lessen the effectiveness of the poison they sprayed everywhere. Soooooo…what the hell? I want to clean things before I use them, pots and pans, counter tops, sinks, things like that, and I really want to clean the floors (they are due for a washing) but I’m not supposed to because it’ll remove the poison, but I’m also not supposed to come in to contact with the poison that has been sprayed everywhere…I’m still not sure the best way to deal with this.

For the most part I’ve been trying to not use things, to avoid accidental ingestion or coming in to contact with, the poison, which has been interesting in regards to cooking. However, I counted all bets as being off in the kitchen area when I found a spider, walking along like it didn’t have a care in the world, in the sink. I killed it, obviously, then had to bleach the sink because ew! spider guts in the sink! From there I bleached both sinks, and scrubbed down the counters, the dish drainer, the toaster, the kettle, ya know, the important things. So now I let myself use the sink, the toaster, the dish drainer, the kettle, and I only feel marginally hesitant to put things on the counter…well ok, more than marginally, once something touches the counter it must be scrubbed before it can be used with anything else, or put away, or left out…you get the idea I’m sure lol

All in all, since the spray was well, sprayed, I have killed 3 spiders in my place. Not lending me to feel total confidence in the effectiveness of the pest control people’s process. Because of this I have refrained from any further unpacking because I fear there will have to be another spray session and frankly, I don’t want to unpack things juuuust to pack them back up again, I’m lazy and now that my friend knows how much work is involved I’m not confident I could convince her to help again… πŸ˜‰

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Washington DC Memorials

21 Oct

Couple weeks ago a friend and I went to Washington DC for a short, fun-filled, trip. I wanted to post about it as soon as I was home but I came home ridiculously sick and just wasn’t up to it. Lucky for you (assuming you like what I write that is) I am now feeling well enough to regale you with stories and pictures from the trip. So grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and be prepared for I’d say 2 to 3 posts in a row about Washington DC! πŸ™‚

My friend was travelling from Alberta, I was leaving from BC, we met in Montreal and then had the same flight to DC. I had an early flight but not disgustingly early, I did however have a lovely nap on the plane, yay for sleeping while someone else transports me somewhere! Sadly, they don’t feed you on flights across the country so all I got on the plane was tea, *big epic sigh* I made sure to take snacks with me though because heaven forbid I not have food at my fingertips! πŸ˜‰ I bought the overpriced fruit salad while in the airport along with a hummus and crackers, both were tasty and I gotta say, I think the fruit was a brilliant idea because it not only filled me up but helped me to stay hydrated, something I always find a challenge when flying.

I got to Montreal first and while walking down this long, practically empty, slightly creepy hallway, on the way to the border guards I came across this piece of art…

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Random moose sculpture…

Once I met up with Nic in Montreal we headed to our next flight which was in a little plane and had not only no food but no entertainment…practically barbaric!

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No tv! No wifi! The horrors!

Lucky for me I always take a book when travelling. πŸ™‚

We didn’t do too much that first night. Grabbed an Uber from the airport to take us to the hotel, settle in, took a walk to a local pub where I ordered this yummy meal…

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Meal Number 1! Chicken burger with fries.

There were no obviously healthy options on the pub menu and nowhere else to go try out so I figured roll with the punches and get something ridiculously tasty lol It is a battered chicken burger with cheese and a sauce I can’t remember the details about and sooooo many fries. It was freakishly good! I cut the burger in half and split the fries in half. I ate half of each and boxed the rest. I had every intention of finding another day to eat the remaining half but every time I thought of it I figured I could find something healthier to get so I never did go back and finish off the burger and fries. I really hope housekeeping cleaned out our room’s fridge…

Our first full day of being in Washington DC was full of all the touristy stuff! πŸ™‚

We had decided to walk to as many places as we could which meant an approx 40 minute walk from our hotel to just about anywhere. This made me super happy as my hope was all the walking would help offset the food I would be eating lol We had time to kill before a walking tour we were taking at 2pm so we wandered with the ultimate goal of going past the White House. Turns out every building in DC is large and old and important looking so we passed quite a few that we tried to figure out what it was and if we should be taking a picture of it or not lol

There were statues everywhere!

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Random building I liked the look of.

Some more statues…

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Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building

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Front of the White House

So funny story…Nic and I are walking past this building, see all the fences and guards and people taking pictures, we look at each other and ask “what is this?” Turns out this is the front of the White House! We had only seen the White House via pictures or shots in movies and they always showed what we thought was the front but turns out it is actually the back. So this is the front…kinda boring…the back is way nicer!

There were Secret Service allllll over the place but mostly around the White House – obviously. The guard in the above picture isn’t so hard on the eyes πŸ˜‰ hence my taking a picture at that particular spot lol

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Part of the line up of people waiting to get in to the White House garden tour.

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The view of the White House I am used to seeing…

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So close and yet so far from President Obama!

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It appears to be a golden sword on fire…

The above is the Washington Monument, built to honour George Washington, the US’s first President. It is a 555 foot marble obelisk that you used to be able to go up (there is an elevator and stairs inside) but people aren’t allowed inside anymore. If you look closely you can see where the marble changes colour partway up…they got the monument partially built then had to pause for war an stuff, by the time they got around to finishing it the quarry they originally got the marble from was empty so they had to source marble from somewhere else and the colour is a bit different. Apparently when they started using the new marble they thought the colours matched but as the monument was exposed to the elements it became more apparent they were different.

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There is a whole story behind the KillRoy part of the monument but it is too long to put here so go google it, trust me, it is interesting and worth the search!Β 

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Vietnam Memorial…

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The Three Soldiers Statue at the Vietnam Memorial

Good ol’ honest Abe…do you see how his hands are loosely signing “AL”in American Sign Language?

The Korean War Memorial…once you enter the area there is always a statue that is watching you…instead of writing all the names like in the Vietnam Memorial they put the images of actual people who were involved in the Korean War on the wall. Β Rumour has it Alan Alda’s face is on there somewhere (that’s the actor from the tv show MASH), I didn’t see it but there are so many faces on the wall it’d be super easy to miss if you didn’t know exactly where to look.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial…

So that wraps up Day 1! I have waaaaaay more pictures and stories from this day but this post is already freakishly long and it has taken hours to get the pictures to upload and I wanna go to bed lol

More tomorrow! πŸ™‚

Giant Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Bar

20 Oct

Oh boy, happy find! When I was in the states yesterday I was looking for an ice cream I was told was a “must buy!” – it is called Arctic Zero and is apparently amazeballs. I didn’t find it but while perusing the ice cream aisle I came across this…

*happy dance*

How can a girl go wrong with a chocolate fudge ice cream bar?

Well lemme tell ya, a girl can’t! πŸ˜€

It comes in this giant size and a snack size. The giant size is 4 SP and the snack size is 2 SP. I thought briefly for like, 10 seconds, about which size to get but really, was there ever a doubt I was going to get the giant size? In case you don’t realize, there was never a doubt… πŸ˜‰

When I opened the box and grabbed one last night I realized it isn’t some crazy giant size, it is only giant in the world of Weight Watchers lol It is a normal sized ice cream bar but is somehow only 4 SP, how that is possible I do not know, nor do I care. All that I care is that it tastes yummy and is a size that doesn’t leave me feeling deprived.

It has a whipped texture and isn’t as dense as other ice cream bars which means it also melts faster so there is definitely no chance to eat it super slow and linger over it but if that is the sacrifice I have to make I will gladly make it.

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All in all I count this as a win – doubly so since it was on sale! πŸ™‚ I haven’t seen these in Canada, the States and England always seem to have waaaay more WW food options than us so these will definitely be a rare and happy treat.

Progresso Soup

19 Oct

I was in the states today for like, a minute, well ok, about 20 minutes, and while there I bought some soup and some yoghurt – both specific types I can’t get here, in the land of maple leafs and hockey.

I’ve written about the yoghurts before, I buy them it seems almost every time I go to the states but today I bought a new soup. Theoretically you can’t go wrong with soup but alas, today proved that line of thinking wrong.

I bought one of the Progresso Light soups, specifically the Beef Pot Roast flavour. If you follow Weight Watchers one serving is 2 SP and the can holds two servings. I ate the entire can for dinner, hey! don’t judge, that’s mean! πŸ˜› Β If you are not on Weight Watchers well, the nutritional info is below, take from it what you like…

I had high hopes for this soup, you’d think I’d learn to stop doing that! *rolls eyes*

The broth was good but weak, it is hard to describe, think of hot chocolate that isn’t quite chocolately enough, it has potential to be good and you can get hints of a good flavour when you taste it but it isn’t quite there yet, it needs to be stronger. The broth is like that, decent but weak, needs to be stronger.

The meat, oh geez, the meat is where this soup fails, and truthfully, where Progresso soups always seem to fail. The beef cubes were dry, and chewy, and had no flavour, and I wouldn’t feed them to a dog let alone another human being. I, however, obviously have lower standards for myself, or I was too lazy to scoop the beef chunks out of my bowl, so I ended up eating them. πŸ˜›

The veggies though were good, actual chunks of vegetables, good texture, good taste. In all the Progresso soups I have had the vegetables are always good. The meat is always terrible. Which is why I tend to lean towards buying only their vegetarian soups but today I thought I’d give them another chance.

Lesson learned. Don’t give Progresso another chance lol Buy what they are good at, their vegetable soups, avoid the meat, it is always dry and chewy and just not worth it.

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Bubble bubble toil and trouble…

The broth has a nice colour, and look at those vegetables! Mmm veggies! πŸ™‚

Overall I wouldn’t rate this soup high, and wouldn’t buy it again, the veggies don’t make it worth eating the beef and the lightly flavoured broth. The extremely low amount of WW points makes eating those beef cubes worth it though, especially since my meeting is tomorrow. πŸ˜‰

Sky Zone

6 Oct

I was going to write this for a Try It Tuesday post but well, it is no longer Tuesday, not even close! Oops!

A couple of Tuesdays ago a friend and I went to Sky Zone which is a trampoline place in Surrey, BC.

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Here is their website…

http://www.skyzone.com/ca/surrey

They have a one hour fitness class that we tried out, they claim you can burn 1000 calories per workout.Β I gotta say, I think that is a tad bit of an exaggeration, but it was fun so really, who cares, right?

I was nervous at the beginning because I worried my bad knee would not be able to handle jumping on a trampoline, it isn’t good with activities that involve quick changes and a lot of stabilizing but it didn’t pop out of joint and I eventually got used to the jumping and had fun.

By the time you are done the class walking on solid ground feels funny, like when you get off a boat and have sea legs. πŸ˜›

When you get there you have to sign-in at a computer terminal, you answer a bunch of questions, nothing too interesting. Then you get to the counter and you fill in a paper form, more legal stuff, shrug. They ask your shoe size because you have to wear special socks when on the trampolines, they are a lovely bright orange with grip bottoms. You’re given a large sticker you have to attach to somewhere on your body so that employees can easily see it and then you’re let loose.

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My stylish socks

Because we were signed up for a specific class we were told which trampoline area to go to. There were two other people there for the class and one instructor. The instructor was nice but it wasn’t as organized or as fluid as a normal exercise class. By that I mean she kept forgetting what she should be having us do next so there were pauses as she tried to figure it out and she seemed hesitant to suggest certain activities and a couple times she mentioned she hasn’t taught the class in a while and couldn’t remember what to do.

If I was treating this class as a serious workout I would be upset that the instructor wasn’t more prepared but since I went to have fun and the workout was a happy by-product of having fun it didn’t bother me too much.

If it is your first class it is $6, after that it is $12, plus the $3 for the socks and the $1.50 for parking. All in all not a bad amount of money.

Sky Zone is a bit too far of a distance from me to become a regular work-out place but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go again. Just means it would be more of a random, get a bunch of friends together and go bounce around for a while type of thing vs a weekly exercise class.

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Don’t mind me as I lounge here oh so gracefully…

Oh and fyi, if you wear a Fitbit be warned, Fitbit doesn’t recognize jumping as exercise so my activity level for the evening kinda sucked because apparently jumping up and down for an hour equates to nothing in the land of Fitbit. sigh. Does a workout count if Fitbit doesn’t track it? Something to ponder…

 

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