There is no better way to pass 2:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. than with a ladybug in your smoke detector.

The trick, I suppose, is not to figure out she’s there until 3:59 a.m., at which point you’re thoroughly wondering why your house hasn’t burned down already, because clearly, it wants to.

That was our Sunday night in the Bag House a few weeks ago.

Mr. Bag Lady and I were jarred from the dead of sleep with a screeching, firm, bleat!

To be clear, it was an I-mean-business, look-for-smoke-and-or-flames “bleat!” not a low-battery chirp.

Just two bleats, then, nothing.


Bag Lady got up, sniffed, felt the walls, trotted to the basement, eyeballed the furnace.

Nothing. Back to bed we went.

Three minutes later, a bleat! so insistent it set off a second, nearby smoke alarm bleating! back at its pal. They did three or four volleys, then, nothing.

I sniffed, frantically rubbed my hands up and down more walls, eyeballed the furnace again (what am I looking for exactly?) and headed back to bed, but really only ceremonially, because who can sleep when you’ve had the smoke detectors go off twice in five minutes in the middle of the night?

Turned out that wasn’t a problem. No one was sleeping. It happened again, and again, every few minutes.

Eventually, Bag Lady Googled “smoke detector false alarms” and found a website that said bugs and dust can set off detectors. Mr. Bag Lady dragged over a chair, unscrewed the primary offender from the ceiling and, voila! two ladybugs and a pfftt! of debris shook out.


And then there was peace. The next time you change your batteries, give a quick volley of canned air to the unit and the screened filter.

Consider it a public service announcement delivered via jerky ladybug.

And with that long, insomniactic preamble, it’s officially a Bliss mash-up week! 

The haunting

It happens at least half a dozen times a year, and it’s happening right now.

Bag Lady is being haunted by $10 in Kohl’s cash. 


I don’t have any particular $10 needs, and I don’t know when I can make it over there before the freebie money expires, but there’s also NO WAY I can let it go to waste.


The long and short of it

Well, sheet.

What started as a 2-inch snag in a fitted sheet that could be ignored for the longest while — after all, Bag Lady just finagled it so the snag was always on Mr. Bag Lady’s side of the bed. I mean, naturally it has grown to a 4-foot monster-sized tear that will one of these (actually sleep-filled nights) devour Mr. Bag Lady whole. So, it’s time to go sheet shopping.

But here’s the thing.


I have no love for sheet shopping. I’d rather shop for pencils, foam hands or deodorant. I always feel so … unqualified, what with the thread count/country of origin matrix and the array of colors. Am I matching the walls? Or one of the 18 colors on the bedspread? Whichever color I choose, I feel like it’s probably wrong, which now makes me realize I have some previously undiscovered bedding-related low-self-esteem issues.

Let’s say you’ve got the color nailed down. On top of all that, sheen or no sheen?

It’s too much. I tap out. Mr. Bag Lady will have to get his sheet together and pick out a new set. Maybe I’ll send him off to Kohl’s, now that I think about it …

The Awesomely Named 

So I’ve driven by this sandwich board in front of the Auburn Middle School more than half a dozen times in the past week and each time have craned my neck in a double take. The sign reads: “The Bold, the Young and the Murdered.”

Turns out it’s a comedy/murder mystery the student drama club is putting on this week, Thursday to Saturday, May 14-16. On name alone, it seems a rather, well, bold choice.

Hope you kill it, kids!

Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who slept through the smoke detector chaos; they knew it was ladybugs the whole time) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at

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