Saturday, March 28, 2009

Asian Beetles!

Asian Beetles are the scourge of the Midwest! They are the bane of my existence! They stink, they bite, they die all over my house, and I HATE THEM!

Asian Beetles, dead in my hand. Swept off a window sill. :(


Asian Beetles were imported to the United States as a “Biological Control Agent.” Some of them (gasp!) escaped, and they have now invaded the entire Midwest and are rapidly spreading. Just think…some of those killer Asian Carp escaped, and now they are whacking people right out of their boats up and down the Mississippi River! And they are making their way up here to Minnesota, too. There have been reports of killer fish sightings in a few lakes in the Twin Cities area. Great. Just great. Not only do we have to contend with mosquitoes big enough to pick you up and carry you into the bushes to eat you, we now have to carry a weapon to fight off the fish!! Only in America.....

These blasted beetles were brought over here to eat aphids, an act, which I am told, they are actually good at. Studies show that they can consume from 90-270 per day. I would not know. I kill them just as soon as I see them. As a means of self-defense, I purchased a mighty expensive spray to spray around my windows and doors in the fall. Well, it didn’t work. They got in here, anyway. And I killed and killed and vacuumed and swept. And then winter happened, and all things slept. Until now. And here they are again, in full force, crawling across my windows and pooping all over everything. Have you ever squished one of those things? They STINK! And all the times I have tried vacuuming them, my sinuses would get all clogged and I would get sick feeling from the stench. I kept telling myself to just knock it off – it’s just a bug, for crying out loud! Now I read on the Internet that people have actually been found to be allergic to them, and most people get “sinus irritations from the smell”. Well, go figure! The reason that they smell is because they have a “foul-smelling defensive chemical” which they release if annoyed. They bite me in the face in the middle of the night and I am the one that gets annoyed! Darn it anyway.

What do we do about them, you ask? Well, there is the terribly expensive SPRAY that I mentioned earlier; there are GLUE STRIPS, which you may place at every window (EVERY WINDOW in the house??? I think NOT, thank you very much!!!); a foul smelling REPELLANT that you can mix up yourself (no idea on this one); and, of course, VACUUMING, which I have already tried, and nearly died.

This is the window in the entry way, south side of the house. This is two days worth of Asian beetles. Deceased. This is how every window in the house looks. Cleaning the window sills is almost a daily occurance around this place!


From past experience, I have found that they usually just sort of ‘peter-out’ when the warmer weather gets here. And they end up outside, where they make millions and billions and trillions of other Asian Beetles, which end up in my house again, come fall.

I wish that the government would stop importing all these INVASIVE SPECIES and just leave things as they are!

On a lighter note, I finally finished my 2nd sockie, so both of my feet are very happy! And warm. Note: See the Geraniums? They sit in front of the patio window, on the south side of the house. And they are very anxious to get their feet in the dirt outside again, soon!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Day, Another Sock

Or something like that. I finally finished my first sock: for me! So I have been running around all day with one sock on and the other foot bare just so’s I will be reminded to hurry up and get that other sock done! Since I have purchased dozens and dozens of skeins of sock yarn and have them all groaning out of containers upstairs in my craft room, I guess I had better follow through on my promise and start in on socks for everyone else pretty soon! At the rate I am going, it surely will take until Christmas to knit them sockies…too bad they have to come in pairs!

I also went to class last Saturday and completed another painting – yea! This time, we did a mountain! Now, Bob Ross’s favorite subject was Mt. Hood in Oregon, and that is what our picture consisted of. Bob had entitled it “A Spectacular View” and it certainly is lovely. The only thing that was holding me back from practicing on my own here at home was the fact that I did not have any paint thinner for cleaning my brushes and I kept forgetting to go out and buy some! But Don has located a can for me, and I am excited to be able to get started now. We went on a wonderful vacation to Yellowstone a few years ago, and took some awesome pictures, there and back. I want to print a few of those pictures and then paint them. I wonder if any would sell at the Laura Ingalls-Wilder pageant in July? You know, it is hard to determine these things, with the economy and all. What do you think?

First, we start with the sky. And then, we add some fluffy clouds. My very first fluffy clouds, folks! I was so happy about my clouds!!! (Yea, I know....doesn't take much...)

Then, we add our mountains! In this case, Mt. Hood in Oregon.
I apologize that I don't have a close-up of the picture! But it has a small cabin and some large pine trees.
AND! Ta-da!!!! MY SOCKIE!!! I did a basket-weave pattern. My left foot is nice and warm.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Since The Last Writing….

I realize that I have not written in some time. My arthritis has been acting up and my back has, as well. So I have not felt like sitting down and writing. However, I am amazed at all the things that I have accomplished since I wrote last, considering how I feel...

First of all, I would like to introduce you to Keira (pronounced “Ky-Rah”). She was actually the little runt of the little when she was born. As of today, she weighs 25#, and she is 10 ½ weeks old. She looks small, but she sure is SOLID. Believe me, she is NOT lacking for affection. She is very smart; goes potty outside, does the stair steps up and down, knows that “NO” word, and knows her name. She chases the BALL, which she seems to have inherited from her mother, and both of her ears are nearly up. She is RED and black, and will have a wonderful standard coat. I love her body structure….she has that typical GSD ‘stance’ and she has the true German ‘roached’ back, not that American ‘low-rider’ style, where they look like they are either dragging their hind-end around behind them or ‘sneaking’ up on things. The AKC has tragically wrecked several wonderful dog breeds, in the name of ‘style’. Nightline just had a spot on that this week, hi-lighting the Boston Terrier, the poor, deformed English Bulldog, and the Dalmatian. Look it up on Nightline ABC News at:

Here is our little Keira, proudly wearing (almost) her new ears! Hmm, I see that we STILL don't have the trim put up under the cupboards :(


Next, I am glad to report that I finally finished that second sock for Mr. Don, and now he has my very first pair of hand-knitted wool socks! Too bad they did not turn out the same size. Oh well…his toes will be less scrunched on one side, that’s all.


Then, I did my second painting in the Bob Ross style. It is called “Barn at Sunset”. Now, I do not care for it as much as the first painting. Maybe because there is a man-made structure in it. I am not sure exactly why... But it was great fun participating in the class, anyway! As usual, the instructor Judy was FULL of information….and ENERGY! I swear that woman eats coffee beans for breakfast! :) She can run circles around me.

This is a young man in our art class, just turned 18. He is an accomplished artist! Photobucket

His older sister, also a wonderful artist, did her own rendition of a Scottish glen, painted from a photograph taken by a friend while in Scotland. These kids are wonderful, polite, home-schooled kids, and I so much enjoy working with them in class!

The finished painting, in one of Judy’s beautiful frames. Photobucket

I have two more classes coming up in the next two months. I can’t wait!

And finally, I managed to finish a project that I started almost one year ago. I got around to completing the upstairs bathroom-painting project. I have discovered that it takes me an entire week to complete what I used to finish in one single day. I just don’t have what it takes anymore. But this project is nearly done, and I am satisfied.

Don’s old garage-sale vase ($1.00); Peacock feathers from the auction ($1.00); wallpaper border on sale at Menard's ($1.50); and grapevine from Don’s place in Carver (free). The result: a warm, Tuscan/Mediterranean-style bathroom. Much nicer than the WHITE and red that it was once painted, with the ‘modern-looking’ border all around it.

EVERY BLOG should have a picture of a toilet, right? Well, I am proud to show you DON’S NEW TOILET DEVICE which he got from the VA. If we had one of those arm-devices in every room in the house, it still would not be enough. Because Lorraine and I need one, as well. It comes in very handy.


We also have a ‘shower chair’ and a handrail for getting OUT of the bathtub. And that other object is mom's old whirlpool-device. She gave it to Don for his legs, feet and ankle pain. GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS, dear mother, for giving Don this wonderful gift! He uses it EVERY TIME he takes a bath.


Well, that’s it for now. I hope you all have a relaxing weekend. I am going to iron the curtains for my newly-finished bathroom, and put them up. I just love finishing a project, and then standing back to admire it. Don't you?