Scorpions In The Dark: Calories In The Day

There is no real joy in knowing there’s a scorpion in the room at 2:45 am. You can hear it scuffling through papers.  You know it’s a  scorp, because it doesn’t sound like a cockroach (another unwanted night visitor) but when it’s not in the papers, you have no idea where it is, or how many there are.  I have a UV flashlight as well as LED headlamps, but when you first wake up, wakened by the faint noise because you’re set to alarm on it, that doesn’t help.  You locate the sound…it’s…there.  The UV flashlight isn’t; it’s on the other side of the bed, in the basket of lights.   All you can find by feel is the headlamp, so you take that, and sure enough, a large scorp is making progress from A to B, B being something you aren’t going to turn over in the middle of the night in case there are multiple scorps in it.  Cautiously, you light up your heavy slippers, the ones safest for scorp stomping, barring rubber boots.   You’re just awakened and alarmed, and so you need the bathroom.  There’s a light in there.  When you’re done you go back to bed and swing your feet up, with the slippers (now you know there are no scorps inside still on your feet.  It will come out again.  They always do.  Now you find the UV flashlight and tuck it under the pillow.  And wait.  And wait.  And then, the stealthy sound of scorp exiting the hiding pile.  You turn on the UV light, scanning the floor…and there it is, a pale green shape on a pale gray carpet, moving…and then it stops.  You slide to the edge of the bed, keeping the light on the scorpion.  It moves an inch.  One slippered foot quietly on the floor.  It’s heading for the bed.  Two slippered feet quietly on the floor–easy when it’s moving this slowly.  Stand up, then crouch a little; the scorp stops again.  Sure of the target and its position….STOMP, hard.  They’re harder to kill on carpet.  Slide the foot firmly.  And then look.  The “tail” twitches once, twice.  Then it’s uncoiled and no other part moves.  Cautiously, to the bathroom, to take the BBQ tongs off the towel rail beside the toilet.  Back to the dead scorp.  Picking it up carefully with the tongs and holding it away from your bare legs, you carry it to the toilet, drop it in, and flush.  Another one gone.

Calories in the day are fewer than they used to be, and I’m losing at a respectable rate.  Will be for some time.   What’s changed is age, which–according to medical sources–demands more of some micronutrients when you’re over 70.  Calcium and protein needs both go up quite a lot and place constraints on the diet that may be hard to fit into the desired caloric intake.   When talking about diets for the elderly, much of the discussion is on getting enough, and ignores caloric restriction because of course *their* patients are skinny old folks.  I am not.  Old but not skinny.  So I’m having to spend time calculating and measuring and muttering, that kind of finicky thing drives me bonkers.   Also if I really can’t get enough protein and calcium on 1000c/day, I’ll raise it a little.  Keeping bones and muscles happy matters more than how fast I lose.  However…thanks to the water loss of the first week, I’ve dropped 10 pounds in 28 days.   (The other weeks were 1.6,1.6, and 1.4.)   Exercise is also happening, mostly for muscle retention and building strength this time, since I can’t ride the bike anymore. )   Many more to go, but I fit into slightly smaller clothes already.

R- saw wild turkeys yesterday and today both–we used to see them, some 20 years ago when we bought the 80 acres, smallish flocks in the fall and winter harvesting acorns from the live oaks.  But mostly now we don’t, because the acreage west of us is being cleared and built in, and dogs roam there a lot.  However, he got a picture of a hen today; yesterday he saw the hen and a young poult about half her size.


   Turkey hen looks very plain at this season, soft gray-browns.  Can wild turkeys fly?  Yes, they can.  They can fly up steeply as that ladder behind her, or even steeper, to roost in a tree overnight.  They do make a lot of racket.  So far as we know, right now she and her poult are the only ones on the place, but in the interest of attracting more, we aren’t seriously trying to find them.

Here she is farther west; she wants to get into the line of brush, but R-‘s there so she’s moving quietly and steadily through the grass.  Because I looked at this on the whole screen, I was able to see more of her, and her tail extends beyond the little tree.  RSM took both these shots.  He’s right up against the south fenceline.   I’d like to convince her to hang around, but definitely don’t want to habituate her to staying close to the fenceline as hunters will spot her.   I hope she’s got others in the flock.

25 thoughts on “Scorpions In The Dark: Calories In The Day

  1. Wild turkeys are now a pest in downtown Boston. And they regularly besiege residents in Brooklyn and Cambridge in their cars and front stoops.

    1. You must have bigger wild turkeys than we do (bigger oak trees for sure, so more acorns!) IIRC, the Eastern breed is heavier and darker than ours (Rio Grande strain of wild turkey). I don’t think these could, or would, besiege anyone in a car. This one (I need to find a name for her now that we have pictures) is definitely on the shy side.

    2. Pence: I wrote a reply, got distracted, and…blip, it’s gone. Or it’s moved somewhere. Sigh. I think the eastern wild turkey is a different strain, or breed, or subspecies than ours–which would make sense in a different climate with different food plants. In the pictures I’ve seen, the eastern birds are darker.

  2. BBQ tongs by the toilet…
    UV light by the bedside….
    Obviously well prepped for night time scorpion situations!

    1. Yes indeed. Including parking my thick-soled slippers on the bed at night, and a headlamp as well as the UV light under a pillow (better than fumbling in the dark of the bedside table top…I kept knocking things off of it). So far it’s averaging just under one a day in the bathroom/near bed area, and one or two every week in the kitchen. Some are already dead, but still give me a chill.

  3. Yea for the turkey and getting rid of another scorp. Boo for needing to get rid of a scorp. Congrats on the weight loss and exercise. Food for seniors seems to be full of problems in many different areas due to the differences in the people (my Mom’s Doctor wants her to eat a lot more because she has lost so much weight while increasing protein & keeping calcium plus increasing exercise to get some muscle back).

    1. I’m trying the more protein, high calcium, increasing exercise while eating less than I was…it’s tricky but doable and I’m feeling better. Still a long way to go, but progress is visible, not just in scale numbers. My largest riding breeches are now loose (baggy in face, though part of that’s the aged elastic in the stretchy knit!) and I’m back into a smaller pair comfortably. Likewise jeans. Onward! I hope your Mom is feeling better and regaining strength.

  4. Concerning your changing dietary need: Have you had the opportunity to work with a dietician? Many medical offices either have one on staff or could refer you to one locally. Their store of knowledge is wonderful and they may be able to help you identify strategies for continuing to lose weight but keep the nutrients you need.

    1. So far the weight loss is going well at 8 weeks in…I’m right in the range I wanted to be in (15 pounds down as of today, though of course it could bounce up tomorrow), and feeling pretty good. More energy than when I started. Blood pressure has come down nicely. Increasing protein did wonders. I’m not having any problems so far and since I know my own touchy digestive tract (never-never-never let certain foods in, or there’s a very unpleasant 24 hours ahead) and its nonstandard sensitivities, I think I’m doing OK on my own. High protein, high calcium, work around the sensitivities, etc. Next week, on my husband’s birthday, we’ve planned a one-meal vacation from our diets (he’s going intermittent fasting, which I just can’t do and get anything done at all.)

  5. So, the scorpion wars are heating up again. Be safe and sane. We have turkeys up here in New Hampshire but they mysteriously disappear when turkey hunting season starts. But they are very beautiful birds. Ah, as I say to my principle physician – the incredible shrinking cookbook for we elder folk. There are a great many things I used to enjoy but can eat no longer due to gout, kidney stones, high blood pressure, etc ad nauseam. This getting old business is not for sissys.

    But stay safe and sane.

    1. I thought I’d answered this–evidently not. I think I’m doing better in the scorpion wars–less emotion, more “Yeah, there’s another one…WHACK.”

      Deer and turkeys both vanish during hunting season here…people still do shoot them, of course, but the casual watchers, like me, don’t see them during legal hunting hours. They’re there just before dawn and after sunset, but then *poof*.

      There are still plenty of things I enjoy eating (I’m lucky, I know) but I can’t have them during this period of time. So I’m not having hunger problems from the weight loss, but I am having “wanting” problems from the things that won’t fit in the calorie restriction w/o cutting into the must-have stuff. We are taking a one-meal vacation from our diets for R’s birthday, though. There will be cake and ice cream (a shared serving) and a few other goodies. R’s method is different from mine–intermittent fasting–which I find impossible.

  6. So great to see a post from you, so sorry it’s about scorps. The crickets are hatching here, I haven’t found any in the house, it’s pretty tight, but I know we’ll have scorps outside soon. Came home from the grocery store the other day and met a gopher snake hanging out on the driveway. It startled me a bit, didn’t have the phone in my hand so didn’t get a photo, and haven’t seen it since. I very cautiously got back in the car and carried the groceries in through the back door. I’m not as fast as I used to be in my snake wrangling days… Found another horse youtube channel to watch, Candice and Jordan Camille, near Kamloops, BC, you might search for Ranger sassy feral foal. Today they showed his first time ponying. There is a herd of about 100 wild horses near their ranch they apparently monitor and they’ve found injured and abandoned foals this spring. The first of the videos I saw the foal was stuck in the mud near a watering hole, and the mare hung around as they attempted to get the foal out of the mud and trees where it was stuck. They think the mare waited, they haven’t seen signs of it abandoned. Sadly, they have found at least one dead foal, one that was so badly injured they couldn’t save it, and three others that were abandoned.
    One of them (Sage) had a pretty bad navel infection, their vet thinks something is making the mares move too soon after the birth and the foals aren’t able to keep up. The three that were abandoned they couldn’t reintroduce into the herd, and Candice is sharing videos of the journey to rear feral foals. Thought you might want to find their videos if you need something more to watch.

    1. I’ll look up the Canadians and their ferals…hoping very much they haven’t been burnt out in this heat spell and all the fires. Thanks for mentioning it. I don’t actually *need* more to watch, but love *finding* more to watch just in case I need an excuse for procrastination.

  7. Sorry about the scorps! They’ve come back inside for us, also. Husband killed one in the kitchen sink earlier in the week. I got stung on my rear while putting on underwear this morning – and then again on my thumb when I was getting it out of the underwear! It’s dead now. Really hoping hiding in the underwear won’t become a thing!!

    1. OUCH! They’re so good at hiding! I shake everything out…so far (knocking my wooden head) haven’t had them in underwear but that’s why I shake it hard, just in case. Ours seem to know when I’m on the throne, and choose then to come scooting across the bathroom floor right at me. Large heavy books are always at hand. WHAM. Followed by stomp-stomp-stomp when I can get up. I have neither mercy nor remorse when it comes to a scorpion in the house. Outside they can be under every rock and board and downed limb (and they are) but inside…WHAM, BAM, SMACK, THUD.

  8. We have a flock of roughly 21 or so that wander our neighborhood. They are the traditional deep colors. I love seeing them, though am not terribly enamored with the mess they leave in our back yard.

    I too am having to restrict my intake. I have gained a lot of weight in this covid time. Have lost nearly 17 so far.

    Nutrients have been a big issue. I have been dieting most of my life. And I have neglected to take vitamins like I should, nor do I get enough sleep as I have had insomnia since I was a kid.

    But it came to a head just before March last year. I had been having some trouble with my memory and one day I lost the alphabet for a number of hours. Seems that although I am fat, I was also malnourished, and sleep deprivation didnt help.

    So am taking a good vitamin and things have improved…though the sleep is still an issue. But do make sure you are taking a good vitamin/mineral supplement.

    Im glad to see you here. I have missed seeing your posts on FB on a daily basis.

    1. I miss being on FB sometimes–so much easier to post horse pictures & other such. SO glad you’re now taking a vitamin-mineral supplement…I started that years ago because my diet (not dieting diet, but what I can eat day to day) isn’t stable and I knew nutrients should be. I am taking one, and an additional magnesium supplement because of a med that interferes with Mg absorption (and caused me some heart problems briefly as a result.) I’m watching for any symptoms while dieting that indicate another deficiency, because again I can’t use some recommended foods. So far I’ve lost 15 as of today (and tomorrow I may have gained a pound back…you know that bouncing instability, I’m sure.) But it’s going well as long as I push for protein and calcium and exercise every day. I’m up to walking almost a mile on the land again, though I don’t go out if I hear thunder and we’ve been in a spell that’s very hot and humid except when something goes BOOM.

  9. Your books helped get me through the worst of the pandemic. Thank you.
    Now on to other things. Regarding turkeys, after being endangered, they have made a big comeback in the N.E. On Cape Cod, where my brother lives, there’s a flock of about 30 that swagger through the neighborhood and amble across the street holding up traffic. I’m in N.H. and last week came across a hen standing in the middle of my lane. I stopped. We stared at each other. I honked the horn. She glared at me, DARING me to hit her. I drove around her and looked in the rearview mirror to see her standing in the same spot. Regarding other wildlife, I’m happy to announce that we do not have scorpions here…yet. But if our increasingly hot summers continue, who knows.

    1. I hope very much scorpions don’t spread. I’d love to have seen that turkey hen declare sovereignty over her patch of road. Turkeys are sneaky and rarely reveal any secrets, so I have no idea why she did that. There used to be a flock west of us that came over to get acorns in the fall, but that area is more and more developed, with dogs running loose, livestock, and of course people.

  10. I can barely make it through a post about scorpions. I have never met one except that it is behind glass. You are brave, because I would be wearing my steel-toes shoes 24/7 if I were in your situation.

    I miss your posts on FB, particularly on the one about the Rags & Tigger Show. Please go back to FB, or post about them here. I wonder how those two scamps are doing. Obviously, I relate better to ponies than to scorpions.

    1. As I’ve explained, I’d be back at Facebook if I could. Aside from opening a new account, which I’d rather not, there seems to be no way to convince FB that I am who I am. They’ve rejected all my FB passwords I can find and the phone numbers, so that’s that. There’s no way to communicate with them without being ON FB.

  11. Any thoughts on the UAP ‘TicTac’ videos from the Navy? The described erratic ping-pong motions remind me of Vatta micro-jumps, but much smaller scale. Sorry, didn’t know where to put the question, but thought it made an interesting intersection with your writings and your military background.

    1. I haven’t seen any of those. Rats. I’ll have to find them. That is a good question; thanks for mentioning something I’d be interested in but didn’t know. I’ve been re-reading two books on military errors, quite different including when overlapping on the same situations. One is Military Misfortunes by Cohen and Gooch, and the other is Shooting Blanks by Dunnigan and Nofi. They’re each aiming at a specific target of what doesn’t work in waging war and I suspect with a different intended audience. I’d love to see/hear all four on a panel discussing military failures in war.

  12. For more horse distractions, I have recently discovered the Facebook feed of Boyd Exell, international carriage driving and four-in-hand champion. Totally splendiferous horses, seeing them trot up in hand before a competition is like watching poetry in motion and their movement as a team is superbly flexible and responsive.

    1. I wonder if he’s got a channel on YouTube. Since I’m locked out of Facebook, I can’t see him there, but I’ve watched some carriage driving competitions and they are indeed amazing. When I watched the funeral for Prince Philip, I noticed that his competition carriage and pair…with his gloves, cap, and driving blanket folded on the seat, was on the parade ground until the cortege had left the palace and headed for the funeral itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.