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370th Friday Blog Roundup

Tuesday morning, I was emailing with A about crickets, and I had this overwhelming thought that before the day was over, I would see a cricket in the house.  Sure enough, I was making cookies in the middle of the day when I realized that I was missing an ingredient.  I decided to jump in the car and go to the store to get it so I could finish the batter.  As I went to the front door to get my shoes, there, at the bottom of the stairs, was an enormous cricket.

Where did this cricket come from?  I have no fucking idea.  Seriously, I think that this is my own personal horror movie — I think about crickets and suddenly they appear in my house.

I was right near the Dyson so I plugged it in and sucked up the cricket with the wand.  Thankfully, the canister is clear so I could see that the cricket was inside once I turned off the motor and everything stopped swirling.  But once everything stopped swirling, the cricket started jumping.  JUMPING AROUND INSIDE THE VACUUM CANISTER.  I turned the machine back on, certain it would now be killed by being slammed with raging force against the plastic.  But when I turned it off, it staggered a bit and then started jumping again.

I turned back on the vacuum, sat down at the table, composed a long email to A about the cricket which was churning around in the machine for a good 5 minutes.  I hit send.  Stopped the machine.  The cricket started jumping.  This went on for about an hour.  Sometimes the cricket would fake death and lie still for a moment, and I would crouch down to examine him through the plastic, but he’d always pop back up and start hopping amongst the dust particles.

You may ask yourself why I needed him dead vs. just leaving him in the vacuum until Josh got home and could deal with him.  Because that’s just not the way I work.

I finally had a brilliant plan (brilliant for cricket killers like me.  Probably not brilliant if you’re an entomologist).  I soaked a cotton ball in bug killer and then sucked it into the machine so it was in the canister with the cricket.  At first I couldn’t get him to hop over to his new little bed, but using a flash light to direct him (no, I got nothing accomplished that afternoon in case you were wondering), I got him to jump onto the cotton ball, where he snuggled up and died.  And I took a photograph to prove to A how enormous this thing was.  It could have snapped me in half.


Thank you to everyone who emailed me the picture of the largest cricket-like thing in the world.  It made me remove New Zealand from my list of places to visit.  At least, I removed that section of New Zealand from the list.

He looked too large to be sucked into a vacuum.


In talking with A, I was trying to figure out where my cricket fears stem.  I’ve never liked crickets, but until recently, my fear of crickets didn’t factor into decision-making.  I went camping and walked around outside at night.  But at some point in my life, I went from cricket-hating to cricket-phobic.  They went from something that repulsed me, but that I didn’t think too much about unless one was right in front of me, to something that I actively worried about.

The only thing I could tie it to was that I’ve always thought of people who veered from expectations as cricket-people.  Which accounts for the majority of eighth grade.  That person who you thought was your friend but turned out to be talking about you behind your back — cricket-person (get it, because they jump out at you unexpectedly).  That group of friends you always ate lunch with who suddenly tell you that you can’t sit at their lunch table — cricket-people.  I had a few very cricket-y people in my life, and perhaps that led to me to transfer my feelings about cricket-y people onto crickets themselves.

Something quite interesting to think about.  I tend not to trust people that I deem cricket-y in my head, therefore there are few of them in my life because I don’t tend to keep people close who are cricket-y in nature.  But even noticing this fact about myself and wondering if there’s any connection between my dislike of people who behave unexpectedly and crickets doesn’t change how much I scream when I see one of them hopping around inside the Dyson canister.


Getting off the topic of crickets, we had two more Creme prize winners this week.  A Blanket 2 Keep was the winner of the crocheted afghan provided by Wistful Girl’s World.  Thank you, Wistful Girl!  And then Home Grown Love was the winner of the babylegs provided by Here We Go Again.  Thank you, Jen!  Reminder: the deadline to have a post on the Creme de la Creme when it goes up on January 1st is coming up quickly.  The deadline is December 15th.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

I actually read this incredible post by Edenland before the last Roundup came out, but for some reason, I wanted to hold it for this week.  And I can’t explain why.  This post is haunting, raw, brutally-honest.  More than one person wrote that they had their breath taken away by her words.  I am sure you will too.

The Zen of the Egg Hunt has a story about the transfer from hell — the one where your worst nightmare comes true and you have the wrong time written down.  But it’s the moment where her husband runs into the room that I started crying too.

For We Are Bound By Symmetry has a post about coming full circle with the idea of “just relax”, and how much she would like to take that idea to heart as she awaits her third beta.  Except she can’t.  She writes: “During all my years of TTC, I scoffed at the advice to ‘Just Relax.’ Never once did I seriously consider relaxing. You fight for what you want, after all, right? And fight I did. Tooth and nail. After so many years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds of stressing, worrying, trying, researching, and fighting, I think that’s all I know how to do. And I don’t want to anymore. I don’t want to stress. I don’t want to research. I don’t want to worry.”  It’s about the worrying that never stops.

Lastly, The Maybe Baby has a post about her daughters, Jovi and Isa, on the three year anniversary of their loss.  I found this part of the post so incredibly moving that I think I must have read it now 20 times: “Notes from friends remind me of how much we were cared for when we returned home empty handed three years ago. In the midst of our raw grief, we were weepy. We were cavalier and stone-faced. We made inappropriate jokes. We winced at innocuous comments. We were fragile. We were invincible. We were needy and wanted company. We were offended at social demands and wanted to be left alone. We had to have been simply unbearable.  And yet we were picked up and held and loved and fed and reminded to bathe (um, sorry) and taught little by little how to be human again. And for the most part, I think we succeed. On most days.”  Please read the post in full and send her love.

The roundup to the Roundup: The crickets are out to get me.  Do you know cricket-y people too?  More Creme winners.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 2nd and December 9th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 a { 12.09.11 at 9:05 am }

That cricket is still horrifying. He would have made a very satisfying SPLAT under my shoe.

For the second helping:

Lori’s writing a book!!!


2 edenland { 12.09.11 at 9:15 am }

Mel, I am so grateful to still be considered part of your community here. It means so much to me. And for you, a brilliant writer and a wonderful person, to acknowledge me .. is a real honour.

Remember Topcat? Those were fun days, man. What happened to the internet?


3 It Is What It Is { 12.09.11 at 10:04 am }

Reading about you not trusting people you deem ‘cricket-y’ in your head reminded me of my deep dislike of mayonnaise. If I am served something that I deem to have been made with mayo, even if I inquire and the person (or chef, because I do this ALL the time at restaurants because I think chefs are sneaky and while the menu description may not include mayo, if it looks like it and smells like it, well you know) says it was made with cream cheese or sour cream or buttermilk or whatever, if I’ve decided that it is actually mayo, I cannot, will not eat it. In my head it is mayo and the very thought of eating it, especially WARM, makes me want to hurl.

So, I feel you on the mental cricket thing.

4 Hope { 12.09.11 at 11:06 am }

Brook at Becoming Parents has a very moving and powerful post about how difficult it is to be pregnant after 6 losses, with an alloimmune diagnoses, where she knows that she could lose this baby at any point, that there will be no time in this pregnancy when she feels *safe*.


5 Christina { 12.09.11 at 1:16 pm }

Hi Mel, here’s a suggestion that I thought was right up your alley and fits in with your interest of bloggers writing about writing. For some reason it made me think of you!

6 Mina { 12.09.11 at 2:14 pm }

Hi, Mel,

I really liked this post of Loribeth’s, at The Road Less Travelled.
It is about an article that basically says that closure is bullshit. ‘No tragedy is complete without closure’ and everyone demands it. I very much agree. Some tragedies cannot have closure. There is also a book she mentions that defends this theory at an academic level. I really enjoy reading stuff that confirms my opinions. I know, weird, ain’t I?

And that cricket?! Humongous! You are brave and resourceful, gotta give you that, the way you got rid of it. 🙂

7 Mo { 12.09.11 at 3:43 pm }

Hi Mel happy Friday!
Bodega Bliss has a wonderful post about intuition:

8 zeneggs { 12.09.11 at 4:13 pm }

Thanks for including me in the blog round up. It’s been a great week. beta numbers in today are GREAT!

9 Alexicographer { 12.09.11 at 10:26 pm }

Mel … I think I need a “cricket torture mentioned” flag at the top of these posts because, really! I caught a cricket just like that one (it is a camel cricket, they do grow quite large) in my hands and when my preschooler asked, “Can I hold it?” I said, “If you are careful, after we go outside,” because I am not a total nut. And he did, we allowed it to hop hand to hand and then released it. I’m not a total moron, I know that what I did killed our cricket, too, as we are into nights of frost here (and my past experience demonstrates that even if you catch them and keep them indoors during the winter, and well fed, they won’t make it ’til spring), but … still.

10 Manapan { 12.10.11 at 5:31 am }

Your crickets look nothing like our crickets. Our crickets are small, black, smelly, annoying insects. Your crickets are effing terrifying! Gah, I shivered at that pic. Now I never, ever want to leave the Midwest.

11 smiling scar { 12.10.11 at 9:00 am }

Oh don’t give up on NZ.. it is the most lovely of places. I lived there for 3 years. Did my cycle there. Want to go back. The Weta is very shy. I can almost 100% promise you won’t see one unless you really really want to. 🙂

I also found M’s post so so moving. I must have read it so many times. Just as I remember re-reading the post in my little cottage in NZ the day she shared with us that her daughters arrived and left this world on the same day. She always amazes me with her writing and gratitude and honestly.

12 Her Royal Fabulousness { 12.10.11 at 9:04 am }

This is an exceptional post from MissConception as she deals with her grief from the loss of her twins.


13 Michaela { 12.10.11 at 6:21 pm }

Okay that is on big fricken cricket!! And the picture of the largest one…YIKES…I now have a fear of crickets!

I would like to submit this post from Megan at Millions of Miles.

I truly brought up a lot of emotions and truths for me and I am now blogging about it on my blog.



14 dspence { 12.10.11 at 8:00 pm }

Katie shares about her holiday blues.


15 Cherish { 12.11.11 at 9:46 am }

Oh my goodness, laughed so hard picturing that darn cricket that wouldn’t stop jumping! Sounds like something I would do!

16 Elizabeth { 12.12.11 at 6:16 am }

This post from St. Elsewhere is poetic in its brevity, and contains the line “I should have been born in the house of a chocolatier or perhaps married one.”

17 slowmamma { 12.12.11 at 10:08 pm }

I ran across this beautiful post:


18 Kir { 12.17.11 at 11:09 am }

Thank you for sharing those blogs…I forget how much I need to read ones like them every so often. My heart is hurting and happy and hopeful..after reading those beautiful words by those beautiful ladies.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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