Saturday, July 14, 2007

Claire's future?

I can see her dad doing this if he gets bored enough...

&*^$# Japanese Beetles

Urgh. We've been infested. As I sat staring out the back window of Claire's room into the yard during a pumping session I noticed a large infestation of bugs on our linden tree. Hmm... wonder what they are, I thought. Five days later I began noticing that they were eating the leaves. Our shade tree wasn't kicking off much shade any longer. I finally took a stroll in the back yard (a rare event these days) so I could get a better look at these critters to match to the pictures in our North American Wildlife book. Egads - Japanese Beetles. These suckers (literally) deforest trees, shrubs, flowers, whatever happens to be kicking of a 'stressed' signal, which is a chemical signature that the beetles hone in on and set up camp. Dang things are everywhere on this tree. Two weeks later and I am looking at a fairly bare tree with the beetles still chomping away on what is left of the leaves.

The trouble is, they procreate like mad. And lay their eggs in the ground so the larvae can come back the following year. Two nights ago, on another tour of the yard, I found them on two shrubs out front and the grape vine in the back. It dawned on me that they had been on the grape vine last year but didn't do much damage. However, my guess is they laid their eggs and now we are infested. I'm serious. They are everywhere.

We've been looking for non-toxic methods to get rid of the damn things but there aren't a lot out there. You can drown them in soapy water but that doesn't stop them from coming back and it's really hard to get to the ones at the top of the tree. I read in one of my gardening books that blending some dead/alive ones with water and spraying it on the infested plant does the trick. I might be heading to the Goodwill today to buy a used blender and make an attempt to gather some of the beetles, drown them and put them in the blender. I just can't imagine these things coming back again next year and destroying our maples or other trees. Urgh.

And the veggie garden is taking a beating. We harvested 7 peas last night and we will probably only get a couple more out of the whole lot. Something got to it while we were in the hospital and has continued to come back. I haven't gotten around to mixing the anti-critter brew (anyone know where to find dry mustard?) so I am paying the price. The carrots have been attacked as of late. Everything else seems to be going OK. The tomatoes are always left alone and we harvested a couple cukes last night as well. One of our strawberry plants is blooming again and this time I am going to get the strawberries off the plant before something comes along and eats them like last time. Earlier this year I thought, maybe we should throw up some chicken wire, but that thought passed when Pete said it would be too difficult to get in and out of the garden. Hmph. Next year we're throwing up chicken wire. It's the only thing that will keep out the racoons, deer, rabbits and whatever else is finding it's meals in my garden.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Press for Friends

Re: my extremely talented friend Carrie

Re: an old friend Jason

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Too hot!

The hottest day of the year. Our thermometer read 103'. So I stayed inside & watched this.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The fun begins

Claire came home from the hospital yesterday! We're very excited but much like all new parents we feel the fear associated with having a newborn under your care. I don't think I slept very much last night between the feedings, pumping and listening to her all night long. The nurses gave us some information on warning signs we should look for which made me paranoid. I remember when Alex was a wee tot and babysitting him one night, feeling much the same way. I kept putting my hand on him to be sure he was really breathing. The very thought of something happening to her makes me ill. This parenting thing really makes me feel vulnerable. It doesn't help that the lack of sleep and my ever-adjusting hormones influence my ability to keep myself together. Ahh... in due time. From what I understand from my pals, what I am feeling/experiencing is very, very normal.

Tabitha doesn't seem to understand what is going on - Claire is pretty quite still so no big cries. We'll have to see how she adjusts to being the 'middle child'.