Right now I am plagued by mysteries. I have always loved to read detective stories but I’m finding my own puzzles simply frustrating. I am tired of bewilderment and yearn to flip to the back of the book and get the answers.
What is going on with Katika’s udder?
Yesterday her poor udder was even bigger and hotter. She is obviously quite uncomfortable but stands bravely while I struggle to get milk out of the swollen, rock-hard quarters. I’m praying the vet office comes up with a diagnosis today.
What is biting me?
For the past ten days I’ve been bitten by some invisible creature(s). First my belly was polka-dotted with bites. Then the back of my thighs. Then breasts, upper arms, and now my neck. It seems every morning brings a fresh crop of three to six. These bites are fiercely itchy. I have waked up in the night to find myself raking the welts bloody in my sleep. No one else in the family has been bitten. Under my clothes I look as if I have chicken pox.
My friend Joanne, a nurse, has ruled out bedbugs. She thought they might be flea bites. I checked the dogs and cat for flea dirt. I couldn’t find any, but have washed and changed our sheets multiple times just in case. Still I am bitten.
Joanne’s next thought was hay mites. This could be possible. Hay mites, also called straw itch mites, are microscopic, 1/125″.
The mites cannot be seen and the bites are not felt, but leave itchy red marks that can resemble a skin rash. When itch mite populations ‘explode,’ people and other animals may receive numerous bites. Fortunately, the mites cannot live on humans, do not survive indoors, and are not known to transmit disease.
It’s been so unseasonably warm — due to be 77° today — that it will be tough to wear coveralls but I will try it today at chores when I feed hay, and see if it makes any difference.
If not, back to the drawing board. While itching.
Where is Mom’s pendant?
For the past seven years I have worn my mother’s gold monogram pendant on a chain around my neck. Dad gave it to Mom in the 1970s, on the anniversary of their first meeting in the spring of 1946. Since my parents met on a blind date to play bridge, on the opposite side from the monogram Dad had engraved the date, both their initials, and “Bidding two hearts.” (Yes, he was a very dear romantic.) I have worn the pendant in memory of my well-loved, much-missed parents ever since Mom died.
This morning I found the pendant had dropped off the necklace some time this weekend. I am devastated.
I know I was wearing it Friday night when DH and I went out to a school function. But after that, I don’t have a clue. Lucy says encouragingly, “That means it’s somewhere on the farm! That means you’ll probably find it!” I hope so. But I spent a lot of the weekend weedwhacking four-foot-tall raspberries, poplars, and briars — and the chances of finding a small round disk in heavy mulch litter on those rough and rocky acres seem remote.
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Sigh. I’m so frustrated by these mysteries. Where are Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, Nero Wolfe, or Kinsey Milhone when I need them? At this point I’d settle for Nancy Drew arriving in her blue roadster! Or even the Hardy Boys!