Passover begins Monday night at sundown. During Passover, Jews celebrate our liberation from slavery in Egypt. Last year, I wrote about how my family observed Passover when I was growing up, and I spent some time exploring the ten plagues: (blood; frogs and lice; flies and dead livestock; boils and hail; locusts and darkness; and the death of the first born. After the tenth plague, Pharaoh more or less really let the Jews free, except that he changed his mind, had his troops chase them to the Red Sea, and they wound up drowning. Today, however, two plagues seem to have struck my home. First, I broke out in an insane heat rash a few days ago. The itchiness is killing me. I've been using generic Benadryl, which helps, and smearing cortisone cream over my body as though it were sunscreen. While I'll gladly take the rash over lice and/or boils, it is still really unpleasant. Nothing but cold showers for me in the foreseeable future. Ugh.

Then Husband and I were visited by the six-legged plague of many a New York apartment, and I am not talking about locusts or flies. As I rubbed cortisone onto my back, I heard Husband scream, then seem to stumble. I ran out of the bathroom and found him pressing his shoe into the ground? "Did you trip? Are you OK?" I asked. "No, there's a roach!" he yelled. A ginormous waterbug had run across the hallway. "Get a paper towel!"

The problem with one roach is that there is never one roach. We sprayed raid, I spread more Maxforce gel, and replaced old bait stations with new ones. Then I scratched my itchy skin a lot. We didn't have to wait long. Husband yelled and I smashed the vile critter with an empty Kleenex box.

Whatever I need to do, I will do it. Just end these plagues and don't send more my way!