Monday, September 15, 2014

Experience You Don't Need: Infestations

I had this experience shortly after my family and I moved to Tulsa. My husband's school put us in a two bedroom apartment at a decent price - the same place they put a lot of their students with families who refuse to live in the dorms. At first glance, the complex was not bad. It was not great, but it certainly looked livable.

   My husband is an impeccably neat person. Me . . . not so much, but I'm not a terrible slob. I vacuum, dust, throw garbage away, clean the bathroom, wipe down counters and sweep. The one thing I have a problem with is organization. I'm not an organized person. I really try to be. I will tackle one area of my house to get that all neat and orderly and then I move the leftover junk to another location. (I know. I need to throw stuff away!)
   Anyway, Tony had been living in the apartment for about two months before Kiera and I got to Tulsa. We had been visiting my family in South Dakota. The apartment was spotless. He really did an amazing job. However, that first night he told me there was a problem - roaches. EWWWW!!!!! I had never had a problem with cockroaches in my entire life!
   At first, it was only one to three every day. But, sure enough, where there is one roach, there are more. I complained to the office about it and they said they would go through and spray the building our apartment was in. They did. No roaches for four days. Then, they started showing up again. I complained again and I was told they had to wait two weeks before spraying again. The situation got worse. The roaches kept coming and in greater numbers. Two weeks later, I talked to the office and they said they would inspect the building. Turns out, one of my neighbors had two nests of roaches in their apartment - big nests. And management said they got rid of them.
   That's when things turned into something out of my nightmares. I couldn't cook a meal for my family without standing guard over it. I once left a pot of soup on the stove so I could do as nature intended. I did not put a cover on it. When I came back, a roach was sitting on top of one of my sliced onions floating in the broth. I couldn't use my slow cooker because roaches would circle the cover, trying to get to the goodness inside and cook to death.
   I was too embarrassed to have anyone over. My daughter had a friend over and one of the roaches crawling on the ceiling (they were everywhere) fell on her head. GROSS!
   By this time, management was spraying my apartment every two weeks. I made sure of it. And the little buggers kept on coming. After a while, the spray did nothing to deter them. The office told me I had to move my furniture around every two weeks to keep the numbers down. I told my husband that we needed to find another place to live after that. We started casually looking for another apartment at the same price.
   One morning, I got up to get ready for work. I walked into the bathroom and went to the sink. I looked at the plain white porcelain before I checked my toothbrush for any roaches. That was clean. I turned the water on. BABY ROACHES FLOODED MY SINK! THEY WERE POURING OUT OF MY BATHROOM SINK! I literally screamed and told Tony that we were moving immediately!
   It took us another two months to move out. We found another apartment at a cheaper price. But, it was a smaller complex and it was a lot nicer. In fact, we are still here. And the best thing - we have not had a single roach since living here! We've had three spiders in the two years we've been here.
   Unless you're an entomologist, keep the infestations out of your life. They're creepy and gross. You don't have to experience that to experience life. Unless you really want to just for a story to tell people in the future.
   If you suspect an infestation, nip it in the bud as fast as you can! It's a nightmare when it's full-blown! Bugs belong outside! Not in your house!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Different Things To Do In North Dakota

No doubt you have heard North Dakota in the news over the past couple years. With the oil boom going on in the Bakken formation in North Dakota, people are flocking there to earn a decent living - and most of them are getting it, too.
   But a lot of people outside of North Dakota stop and say: "What in the world is there to do in North Dakota?"
   Well, let me tell you:

1) Badlands Trail Rides. Nope. Not the famous Badlands in South Dakota. The North Dakota Badlands are located in the southwestern corner of the state. If you go to the Eastview Campground in Killdeer, you will have the opportunity to sit on the back of a horse and experience the rugged beauty of the land.

2) Assumption Abbey. Benedictine monks are not the first thing that come to mind when you think of Richardton, North Dakota. Yet, they are there and this monastery offers a Romanesque Abbey Church for public viewing.

3) Papa's Pumpkin Patch. Located in Bismarck, you can walk through hay bale mazes (FREE!), take the obstacle course (FREE!), go on a hay ride (small fee) and more. Perfect for the fall season and Halloween outings!

4) Buffalo hunting. The good thing is these animals are no longer on the verge of extinction! In fact, they are in abundance. Otherwise, people would not be allowed to hunt them, of course. The Bison Ranch in Pingree will give you the opportunity to hunt a buffalo in its natural setting. For a fee.

5) Skiing. If you have never gone skiing before, it is definitely something to try! I have only gone skiing once, but I thoroughly enjoyed it - even though I sprained my ankle. At Bear's Den Mountain in Fort Ransom, you can have that opportunity. But make sure you wait until they're open season!

6) Fort Mandan. Whenever you are in the Dakotas, take some time to appreciate the Lakota culture. In North Dakota, you can see this exhibit near Washburn. It is where Lewis and Clark encountered the Natives.

7) Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site. During the Cold
War, numerous missile silos were placed throughout the country, including in North Dakota. If American history is something you are interested in, take the time near Cooperstown to pay this historic site a visit.

8) Boating. The Missouri River runs through North Dakota and you can take a boat out on the Jamestown Reservoir near Jamestown. If fishing or boating is not for you, try some disc golf! Or camping! Or trail hiking!

9) Gambling. I grew up half an hour away from the North Dakota border. The Prairie Knights Casino near Fort Yates was not too far north of the border. The casino regularly has shows for your entertainment, as well as a resort that you can stay in.

10) Wine tasting. It may not be Californian wine, but those North Dakotans sure know how to create the juice of the grape! The Pointe of View Winery near Burlington is the state's oldest winery. The have free tastings and you might be able to try their popular rhubarb wine!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Experience You Don't Need: Douchebags

You've seen them in your neighborhood, at your workplace, at your grocery store. They make you sigh exasperatedly when you see them walking your way. They are douchebags. If an image of someone or multiple people instantly popped into your head upon reading that word - douchebags - then you know exactly who I am talking about.
   For those of you that do not quite know which breed of human I am talking about, I will give you some examples of behavior that help define a douchebag. Not all of these examples need to be rolled into one person.
   1) They know everything about everything. This behavior usually springs up in friendly debates and the douchebag pounces right in with some vague or ultimately wrong fact about the subject matter. When they are called on that bit of "information" they get defensive and angry when you do not agree with them.
   2) They eat and run. This happens when you invite the person over to your house for a meal. They make a beeline for the kitchen, stuff their face and then proceed to roll their way out your front door, ignoring the social norm of staying and conversing with their host.
   3) They believe they are better than everyone else. This is narcissism at its worst. If you have done something extraordinary or experienced something awesome, they have done the same thing but better or they have seen the same thing, only greater.
   4) They pout when they don't get their way. This is generally seen in social group settings. The douchebag will have an idea and when no one agrees with that idea, they will sulk in a corner and throw out little snide comments about being slighted.
   5) They are incredibly selfish. It does not matter what the situation is, the douchebag will put themselves before anyone else. If your father is dying and you need a ride to the hospital, the douchebag will say no, because they have to go to the liquor store to get a six-pack of PBR.
   6) They borrow items and return them damaged. When this happens, the douchebag will have an excuse for the state of the item and they expect you to accept the excuse, forgive the damaged property and immediately loan them The Walking Dead Season 4 on DVD.
   7) They do not pay their bills. Whether or not they live alone, the douchebag will find a way to have other people pay for their living expenses.
   Displaying behaviors as stated above a few times does not make a person a douchebag. It is when the behaviors are repeated constantly over a period of time that you know you have encountered a true douchebag.
   Upon encountering a douchebag, the best defense is a good offense. Douchebags cannot stand insults. A barrage of insults will send them fleeing in the opposite direction, screaming obscenities at you. Do not fear physical retaliation from said douchebag because they are also cowards. Once the douchebag has fled, you can stop the insults.
   Should the insults fail to send said douchebag fleeing in horror of his own character being called into question, pretending that the douchebag is not in your presence should also make them slink away. When no one pays attention to a douchebag, the douchebag's life force starts to drain and they must find another group of people to suck energy from.
   There is no vaccine for douchebags, unfortunately. Once a douchebag has infected your life, getting rid of said douchebag can prove problematic. But, if you adhere to the guidelines stated above, your chances of washing this disease out of your life on a permanent basis is greatly improved.