The End is Near

It's official, I'm retiring my blog. Why? Blame social media (as we do for much else these days, but that's another story).

I certainly haven't stopped writing-- either professionally or personally-- but I do more of both on different platforms. My Instagram is usually dominated by my kids, my Facebook a mix of work/research, kids, and politics, and Twitter mainly work with a bit of politics.

This has actually been brewing in my head since February when I endured The Great Skunk Incident of 2018. What's that you ask? Well I wrote about it on Facebook.

Here's text from the first post I did on the incident:

I've had a pretty unexpected past few days, so if you're waiting for an email/text/call from me, this is why! (I pride myself on keeping a clean inbox, so being behind is giving me hives.) We spent a few days in Florida-- warm weather, nice company, good food-- but when I returned with the boys on Sunday evening and opened the door we were confronted with a wall of odor so pungent the only thing I could think is that we had an electrical fire. Well, after NINE fire trucks came roaring over the firemen informed me that they thought we'd been sprayed by a skunk! I tried calling about 15 exterminators, but no one would come out until the morning, so I had to let it go. After a pretty sleepless night (I swear, I could taste the smell of burning rubber times ten) I awoke early to make lunches and, sure enough, the little f*cker waddled through my backyard. At least the mystery was somewhat solved... When I took the boys to school I discovered that TO MY HORROR, WE SMELLED LIKE SKUNK. I had no idea it had penetrated our clothes, etc. Cue mini breakdown. While I was in class the exterminators arrived and I raced home to be told that the skunk had dug a hole along the foundation of our house, near a staircase, and sprayed his territory. Because we have a stone foundation the stone has absorbed the smell and traveled upward, essentially baking in because no doors were opened for over three days. Apparently it is also mating season and they spray each other (I could go on about what I have learned about skunks in the past 48 hours, but I'll spare you...). They informed me it would take FOUR TO SIX MONTHS for the smell to go away. Cue actual breakdown. I tried calling restoration services but was told a combination of, 1) tough luck and wait it out!, and 2) too busy with mold (also horrible). John, who is in California all week, called our home owners insurance who quickly got some hydroxyl generators out to to ionize the air with charcoal filters. I thought it might be helping a little by the late afternoon, but by this point I was physically ill from the putrid fumes. I suddenly understood the appeal of smelling salts, and started carrying a Yankee Candle under my nose, grateful for their strength. This morning it seemed like the upper floors were doing better, but poor Quenton woke up with his eyes sealed shut from pink eye (which the doc said could have been exacerbated by the skunk becuase it's an inflammatory). I went to see the chiropractor who told me she thinks I am allergic to the skunk musk! I have body aches, an upset stomach, flushing, and nausea when I move from room to room. So we're here tonight but moving to a hotel for the next few days starting tomorrow so we can get the house gassed. After that there is one more option if the smell remains. Oh, and did I mention that we got the sucker in the trap overnight?! The wily, noxious creature actually pulled off the bag over the trap (which would have protected him from the sun), so he was quite agitated. I called the exterminators at 8 am to tell them he was caught, but by 4:30 pm they hadn't yet come to get him! So for all I know he's been spraying away into the house all d*mn day. So, if you see me and I am stinky, this is why. And if you're waiting on an email from me, this is why. I think I may need some sort of detox spa treatment and/or a skunk fur coat?! (Also, I know things could be much, much worse, but this is shockingly bad because the smell is truly unimaginable and I never thought we'd get physically ill from it and need to move out.)

For the record that one Facebook post was 670 words. A blog post in itself! But I didn't post it here, you see. And then I did FIVE more posts about the skunks (yes, it turned out there was more than one). I kept meaning to put them all together into one blog post, but I had to catch up on life (like teaching and child-rearing) and my political work (I became President of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women- aka RI NOW-- in late January!). And it never happened. Yet I post on Instagram, on average, once a day, on Facebook a few times a week, and on Twitter on average once per week.

So, for now, the future is clear. Follow me on social media [Instagram (public), Facebook (Friend me) and Twitter (public)]. I also will continue to update my website as I write articles, appear in the media, and read new books (and write another one myself, ahem)!

AND, a new and improved website is COMING SOON!

Note: all my old blog posts will be archived, so can still be found and read.