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As you may know, I am a self imposed perfectionist preferring order over disarray.  I love things neat, clean, and smelling of the great outdoors.  But, this morning I experienced a developing nightmare in the daytime, which I call “My Horrible DayMare.”  It’s a very scary non-fiction Halloween story of despicable monsters and goblins who descended before Halloween.

I did not know at first I was going to be wide-awake crying and shuddering at such horrible, indelible images.  Oblivious to the lurking danger I was naively eager to put things in order this morning, before the rest of the family staggered out for breakfast.

MY PERFECTIONIST PLAN

Step 1 –  Since we are expecting visitors soon, I stripped the guest room bed  to re-wash the sheets.  My goal is always to achieve that clean, sweet smelling, fresh-as-the- great-outdoors scent.   I visualize  sheets floating in the breeze on an outdoor clothes line like in the good old days before electric driers.  Ooops! Am I dating myself?

Dor And the Billowing Sheets
in Days Gone By

Step 2–Anyway –  I retrieved some big beach towels left hanging from hooks on our deck – remnants of a summer suddenly giving way to autumn leaves and brisk cool breezes.  Snow can’t be far away can it?  Why it almost seems like Christmas!  Beach towels look a bit out of place now on the deck.

But, do you see how organized I am and dedicated to sparkling colors in my laundry and lavender scented towels?  Who needs a spa anyway?

Step 3– I daintily dropped the sheets, pillow cases, and towels into the washer and went off to accomplish other such perfectionist techniques for home improvement.  I was once again prepping our house for  Better Homes and Gardens photographers who have never quite arrived.

But I’m ready.   I’m always ready.

Step 4–Moving right along toward the photo spread,  I put all the dishes away from the night before.

Step 5 –  I prepared  Rozie-the Dog’s breakfast, neatly laid out for when she should awaken.

Step 6 – I moved the sheets and towels into the drier.

*AND THIS DEAR READERS, IS WHERE THE PRE-HALLOWEEN DAYMARE STARTED!

Removing one of the sheets, I detected a rank smell emanating from the washing machine.  And as I pulled the sheet out, a few STINK BUGS came along with it!  Have you ever heard of a Stink Bug?  YYYYyyyyukkkkkkk!

They are perhaps the ugliest insects I have ever encountered.  Well, three or four of ‘em were enough to make me gag.  I continued to move things from washer to dryer, and it became quite evident there were not just three or four, but 50 or more – maybe 100 –  of the ugly bugs in the bottom of the washer (and probably, I thought, “in the sheets!”)  Grand!  What a way to start a day.  What a way to spoil my own personal image of perfection!  HORRORS!   YYYYyyyyukkkkkk!  And Oh, I forgot – WHAT A WAY TO WELCOME GUESTS!

Well I hastily put everything in the drier and turned it on, but somehow knew the buggy onslaught was not over.  Sure enough, there were more of the ugly monsters in the drier. It occurred to me the bugs were nesting in the towels and sure enough, I even found a nest stuck to one of them!   Bleh!  The critters had found a nice warm place to snuggle and breed!  Perhaps they died in paroxysms of pleasure in the swirling waters of the washing machine?

REMNANTS OF THE PERFECTIONIST PLAN

Step 7 –Holding my nose, I cleaned up both the washer and the drier and extricated the hundreds of ugly bullet shaped bodies, and left them in a paper towel for show and tell with my husband.

Step 8 – Now to re-wash everything, but first I would shake each item over the deck rail to get rid of lingerers.  In that process, two pillow cases got free and fell to the rocky driveway below.  Sigh.  I would have to go down there to get them.

Step 9 – Having retrieved the pillow cases, I hauled myself up the stairs and managed to track in leaves and bits of debris collected from the gravel below.  I would have to vacuum now.

Maybe you have the picture that about this time I was ready to go back to my own clean bed to enjoy a real nightmare where I would only be limited by my imagination about when it would end.  But this – this was a real-life HORRIBLE  DAYMARE that just kept getting worse and would probably never end!

Eventually this morning, all the deceased stink bugs were collected and discarded.  The house was aired out.  The sheets were triple washed and dried with a scented drier sheet, the guest bed re-made, and although I sat in a chair sobbing and shuddering for 20 minutes, reliving the daymare,  I was perfectly calm when Bill and Rozie, the dog, came out for breakfast.  Notice I said, “perfectly calm?”

And so, dear blogger friends, my perfectionist image goes untarnished and the pre-Halloween tale of the Horrible Daymare Stink Bugs is just between you and me.  You wouldn’t want to ruin my perfect image would you?

ABOUT THE STINK BUG

Sink bugs are named after the smell they emit whenever they are squashed or crushed.

They eat your plants and vegetables and emit an appalling stench when they are squeezed that resembles decaying garbage.
They are also almost impossible to get rid of and have wings which means they fly off when you try to catch them.

‘They feed on a wide range of important food crops. Crops such as sweet corn, apples, pears, grapes, berries, peaches, tomatoes and peppers appear to be the most vulnerable.

Both live and dead stink bugs can be removed from interior areas with the aid of a vacuum cleaner – however, the vacuum may acquire the smell of stink bugs for a period of time.’

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