Category Archives: bugs

Twisters, and an otherwise average day at our house


Last night we had a tornado watch in effect for Franklin County.  (Yes, we live in Franklin County!)  So over the hour or so that my radio kept screeching the warning, I sent my kids to the basement to play while I made supper.  CJ was out mowing grass with Pappy, so I figured they’d see a twister if anything happened.  (Nothing ever happened.)  Around 200 deaths have been reported from this violent wave of tornadoes and extreme weather, with 130 tornadoes yesterday alone.  My heart goes out to the mothers who did lose children yesterday.

Today is another gorgeous, sunny, windy day.  I’ve been wearing all the sleeveless maternity shirts I can find in my stash, soaking up all the sunshine I can!  (And wishing I’d do something about that upper arm flab…)  We do have some flood watches in effect, after the rain storm last night.  (Where Dee and I had to get up at 2:30am and mop up the water that poured through the windows.)  But no flood watches in our immediate area.

The chickens got out, so we had to chase them down.  Good exercise for this pregnant lady!

Kbug got her first wasp sting of the year, so we whipped up an herbal remedy of plantain, baking soda, and lavender oil.  (That counts for science, right?)  I think Kbug got stung five times last year, if I’m remembering correctly.  If it’s true that bee stings improve your immune system, than I’ve got one healthy girl!

Cboy found a robin’s egg laying on the ground, and I’m still trying to convince the kids that they can’t hatch it.  It must have been blown out of a nest last night, so it was stone cold.  I told them the baby bird — if there was a baby bird yet — is already dead.  We can’t make it come back to life, and even IF we DID hatch it, baby robins don’t have feathers and fluff like baby chickens when they first hatch.  It’s just not possible to raise a robin from scratch!  The kids told me that God could make it hatch, even if I couldn’t, so they’re going to pray about it.

CJ kept popping in the door with stuff from Grammy’s house.  Leftover spaghetti from her fridge (“Mommy, can I eat this?”)… a scythe from the barn (“CJ!!!  YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT!”)… and an announcement that he went pee up at Grammy’s potty.  At least he’s not going potty in the trees anymore!  The thing is, Grammy’s house is empty during the day right now, since she’s at her sisters’ greenhouse, so CJ just sort of took over her house.

(We had spaghetti for supper.  I promised CJ.  And yes, I do feed my children!  All day long!)

I made the mistake of telling a friend, in front of my kids, that Erin and Terri are trying to get pregnant.  “How do they try?” Kbug wanted to know.  The kids were eating popsicles, so I told them to run outside before they dripped all over the house.  Sneaky me.

And in between all of this, Kbug and I managed to get in a good day of school.  We studied Harriet Tubman (with side notes on Amelia Bloomer, the invention of the refrigerator and Kodak box camera, the Wright Brothers, and the extreme racism that existed even after emancipation in 1865), cannibalistic spiders, and frogs that retract their eyeballs to squash prey against their tongue.  Kbug also excelled at adding and subtracting her first double-digit math problems!  She’s very proud of the fact that she’s finishing up 1st grade in a few weeks.  (Me too, maybe a little proud.)  Today my house isn’t so pretty, but… what else is new. =)


A rare case of Monday blues


Monday was a little sad today.  My family drove back home to Massachusetts, leaving my house fairly quiet, except for Moosies asking, “Is Anna coming back?  Can I see Auntie Anna?  I want to see her, okay?”  And Cboy kept saying, “I miss Lizzy” at random times all day.

Me, I miss them too.

I crashed on the couch for a nap while the kids watched cartoons.  But last night’s wee hours of cards and YouTube were definitely worth the sleepy eyes!

CJ had too many walks with Bompa and the dogs, I’m thinking.  He came inside this afternoon, missing his shorts and undies, and announced: “I went poop.”  Outside.  In the mulch.  “Bompa can just scoop it up with one of those little bags,” he said.  Sure enough, CJ had left a little pile of poop out in the tree line!  Well, Bompa was gone, and I didn’t have any of Bompa’s little plastic newspaper bags, so I made do with (doubled) Wal-mart bags.

I pulled a tick out of CJ’s ear at the supper table.  Maybe that will scare him out of pooping in the trees again?

I can’t write much tonight.  I want to go curl up on the couch and read a book and forget that my family lives so far away.  But first, my list of favorites from last week.  (For me, just because I know I’ll forget it all if I don’t.)

Gibbles field trip, where everyone got FOUR BAGS of potato chips!  Going to the park to eat all our chips and puffies.  Driving to City Park too, just because it was one of the few sunny days in weeks!  Ducklings, monster fish… and adorable kids lying on their bellies, swishing sticks and hands in the pond.  My peas popped up in the garden!  Creeks and rivers completely flooded, from all the rain.  CJ learned to pump (thanks Andrew)!  Easter dinner on Good Friday, with EVERYONE around the table.  Feeling my baby kick, and hoping Shelly’s new baby boy comes soon!  Seeing tiny buds on my maple trees.  Dee cut grass for the first time!  Spring cleaning with Anna.  Kbug singing in the choir on Easter morning.  My two-year-old baby girl in shorts.  Bunnies on our lap for school and movies.  Donuts at Krumpe’s, in the rain, one night before bed.  Bog boots from my siblings.  Coffee in the mornings, and at Starbucks too!  My home filled with noise and chatter and love.

If caterpillars were violent, we’d be in a horror movie


I may have bitten off more than I can chew.  Right now, I’m surrounded by monarch caterpillars.  Not exaggerating!  We started out with maybe twelve caterpillars.  Not so bad — cool science project, right?  Then, every time I went outside to pick fresh milkweed, I’d find one more caterpillar.  And then one more, and one more…

Today, Kirstyn and Cory came with me to the back field to cut a LOT of milkweed for our monarch zoo.  Guess what?  That’s right.  MORE caterpillars!  Like, fifteen of them!  I tried telling Cory once, “We have enough.  Let’s leave that one!”  He protested so strongly I just had to bring that caterpillar home too, you know. 

He gets this “creature love” from me.  I’m a major softie when it comes to animals!  I figured if we left the caterpillars in the field, they’d get eaten by birds or spiders, or get mowed down by the brush hog.  Inside my house, they might have a better chance of survival.  IF I can keep up the fresh milkweed feedings!

The other night, I was up until 12:30am swapping out the milkweed.  It takes a while!  First, I have to find all the caterpillars on the old milkweed.  And in case you forgot, that’s a lot of tiny caterpillars, hidden in curled up, drying leaves.  Then I have to transfer the caterpillars to newly cleaned, empty cheeseball and pretzel containers.  Well, not empty.  Covered with wet dirt on the bottom, to keep the new milkweed stems fresh as long as possible.  (I probably change the milkweed every four days.)

And NOW, after today, I have over thirty caterpillars!  Four caterpillars already in cocoons, one caterpillar hanging upside down in a “J,” two super-fat caterpillars in their very own mason jar (I figured they would probably “morph” tonight), and around twenty-five itty bitty and not so bitty caterpillars in FIVE five gallon buckets.  So.  Again.  I may have bitten off more than I can chew!

Kirstyn has a library book right now called, “The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate The School.”  Relatable.  I definitely feel overtaken!  If even half of the caterpillars survive though, it will be awesome.

P.S.  If any of my local friends want caterpillars, I WOULD LOVE TO GIVE YOU SOME!  I’m going to beg my sister-in-law Erin to take care of my babies while I’m gone.  We leave for Massachusetts, um… tomorrow.  ‘Cause it’s already early Thursday morning!

Bug Killer


I’m not usually cruel to animals.  Ask anyone that knows me well, and they’ll tell you I’m a big softie.  I break for toads and groundhogs, I grab birds from the cats, I sneak the kittens inside when Derek isn’t looking, and I still cry when Bambi dies!  But I squish bugs.

I wasn’t always so mean, but it’s their fault, really — the bugs.  They never should have come in my house!  I won’t put up with japanese beetles and other crawly things in my bed, ticks on my legs, stink bugs that fly at my face, or spiders hanging over my toilet.  The ants are getting on my nerves.   And the flies!  I hate the flies!  Yesterday a fly landed on the ring of my coffee cup.  While I was drinking my coffee!  The nerve!

So I don’t feel bad — at all — when I smash those flies.  Today I found myself thinking violent thoughts about them.  “Die! Die! Die!” was running through my head as I chased flies around the house and killed them off one by one.  Problem is, I can’t ever kill them off completely!  They come back!  With buddies!  Like Percy Jackson’s hydra-head monster.  Maybe I have a sign on my roof: “This lady thinks she can kill us?  Flies Unite!” 

I guess I don’t hate the other bugs as much as I hate the flies.  If the spiders stay in their corner and don’t crawl in my mouth while I’m sleeping, I’ll let them stay.  They eat flies, right?  Heh, heh, heh…  The stink bugs are irritating, but not germy or carnivorous, as far as I know.  Ticks are creepy.  I will kill those!  The beetles can stay, if they stay out of my bed.  Ants are actually amazing little creatures, but I just don’t want them in my house!  I don’t know what to do though, because Megan sucks on the ant traps. Even if I hide them, she finds them.  (I’ve never called the poison control center in my life.  Does that make me a bad mom?)

Oh, and I realized today, in my fly smashing frenzy, that fly-killing is a great stress buster!  And my kids love to help smash them, so it’s a great summer activity.  Right up there with “bike-riding” or “water balloon fights!”  It’s a tv-free activity, works your arm muscles, releases tension… Yep!  I think  “kill flies” should be added to all those official summertime lists.