"Bludgeoning hard times with a rolling pin"

"Bludgeoning hard times with a rolling pin"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stinky bug, stinky bug...in my bathtub


In our upstairs bathroom, I thought I trapped two wasps. I didn’t stick around long enough to investigate--just shut the door and reported the sighting to hubby. Turns out, they weren’t wasps at all but stinkbugs.

“This is new,” I thought.

We have been getting accustomed to seasonal ladybug guests, sometimes covering the back of the house almost completely. But stinkbugs? They’re not even cute. Or ladylike.

After a bit of research, I learned stinkbugs are a relatively new problem around here. They love to suck the juices from soybean crops and also wreak havoc on apple trees.

I thought the bugs might die off during the winter, but after more digging learned the stinkers lay low, such as under piles of leaves, and are very much waiting for springtime. Pesticide sprays are known to miss, because these pests are so good at hiding.

So, what should a homemaker do? Rule number one is Do Not Smash Stinkbugs. That’s how they become stinky. Some remedies have included flushing them down the toilet and sucking them up in the vacuum cleaner (throw the vacuum cleaner bag away). Rule number two is to make sure there are no openings in screens where the buggers can easily enter a home.

What do stinkbugs smell like? I’ve read they can smell like skunk or even cilantro. Their scent is dependent on the interpretation of the one smelling them.

Smells like one more inconvenience to me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I have acknowledged my nemesis. His name is Worry.

"No, Worry, No!" (Imagine a horror movie scream)

The economy recently lost 95,000 jobs because of government layoffs. The business news channels on television report each twitch which may affect stock portfolios.

Someone's thumb slipped and the backsides of everyone's investments are bloody from all the downhill skidding. The market's up. The market's down.

Are you on the edge of your seat?

My lookie-loo nature is tempted every time I sign in to my e-mail account. The search engine constantly refreshes the Dow Jones green arrow up or red arrow down. I suspect the down arrow appears more often, but I don't know really. It's kind of like approaching a traffic light. You don't know if it will be red or green. Whichever it is, that's reality and we must accept it.

I've had it. I'm done trying to outguess the economy's next turn. All this suspense is not useful. It is not convenient. It is not joyful. It is actually hindering efficiency.

I've been hovering over the news like a new parent next to a baby monitor. Why be on worry-alert status? What a waste of time. I don't even "play" the market. There isn't a thing I can do to help the world economy.

Of course, we all can try to drum up business ourselves, make responsible purchases and hire when we are able. Maybe invent something. But that's about it.

Worrying about something so far beyond our control impedes are ability to make individual progress. Yes, teeny-tiny progress. But homemade bread in the freezer is something.

I'm sure that if a catastrophe occurs, I'll find out. Waiting for it to happen is a real downer and fairly morbid.

It's time to be joyful and BUSY. If something earth-shattering does happen, it is best to be prepared. When a tornado approaches, you don't run outside to watch. You hope you've prepared well and take cover.

The watching is over. The worrying is over.

How about you?

Happy. Happy. Happy. Busy. Busy. Busy.

Graphics provided by Designed To a T. (Thank you).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mark time and then some

Having been a "flag girl" in high school, I am aware of the trials, sacrifices, drama and exhaustion that goes with the activity. But that was back in the day. Back in nineteen eighty *something*.

Nowadays, flag and rifle lines are called "guard" and have their own activity, winter guard, of which the band is not invited (tee hee).

These days expectations are more demanding. Lines are straighter, tosses are higher and, what's this? The guard smiles now. We used to be instructed to look intimidating, kind of mean even--being at attention and all.

Competitions are ALL DAY LONG. When I say ALL DAY LONG...I mean, the day starts at 5 a.m. and bedtime isn't until 4 a.m.

Competitions are such long affairs, the seasons change. One arrives in summer, sporting a light jacket. A sweat attack occurs in the afternoon--everyone wishes they'd worn shorts and halter tops (well, maybe not everyone).

When the sun goes down, flags and rifles are fumbled due to cold-numbed fingers. The spectators watch the awards ceremony wrapped in blankets. Some parents cause near riots at the concession stand for the warmth of a cup of hot chocolate to hold. Trash can fires are considered.

These competitions are the icing on the cake. They are the big deals which bands have been preparing for since the heat of mid-summer during band camp. Competitions are prepared for by arriving at school an hour early every morning and staying late for practices nearly every day.

To say that marching band is an extreme sport is an understatement.

Anyway...a salute to the bands (and parents) in the throes of marching season right now.

It's tough out there!