Monday, August 18, 2008


We had a good mini-vacation last week. We went up north with my family and spent 3 days at the town home we rent. A good time was had by all, although sleeping in the same room as your toddler who moves around like a madwoman is not as easy as I thought it would be. And I learned some new entertainment techniques on our last 2 hours of the car ride up. 

Claire tried many new things which you can check out here. We lucked out by swinging into Duluth just in time to join Carrie & Dahlia for a walk along the lake. It was great to have a chance to hook up with Carrie and her adorable, good natured babe. 

In other news, our nanny started today. It seems like things went well. Claire was a bit needy this morning and I feared for the worst. But her dad called me at work and said she went back down for a nap at 8am. She hasn't taken a nap that early since she was a baby :). Apparently the weekend wore her out more than we thought. Our nanny said she was surprised by how well Claire did today and was impressed by her mellow nature. I swear it has all to do with her sleeping pattern. Now, if I can just get her to sleep in until 7am.... 

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Beetles Ate It All

I am slowly becoming a maniac. I despise Japanese beetles with a vengeance now. They came back last month and within 3 weeks deforested the linden tree again. Pete tried a nasty all-natural option sometime during week two of their encampment (Jerry Baker's Beetle mix) that involved dead beetles, water and spraying the tree. We think more may have landed on the him than the tree. Didn't work. No dent in their gorging. In fact, I think they went through the tree faster this year than they have in the past. When they were at their peak we could shake a tree branch and it appeared like the Apocalypse was coming. These beetles aren't very bright (no beetle is, I understand people, you get my point) and it should be easy to remove them but when there are literally hundreds and hundreds on your tree. It's daunting.

Since there is nothing left to eat in our yard they have moved on. On a walk the other night I counted 14 Bag-a-Bugs. Great. Now all the damn beetles east of the Mississippi are going to come to our neighborhood. FYI, most of these bags are about 1/4 full and since they use pheromones they actually do end up attracting more beetles.

The only really good thing about these bags are that they catch the horny bastards before they can lay their grubs. ALL these bugs do is eat and get it on. They are constantly laying on one another. It's like an orgy in our back yard. Yeesh. Birds and bees should be retitled to 'beetle-on-beetle'.

What really bites is once they come there doesn't appear to be a non-toxic method of removal. You can spray your tree/plant with dish soap but it doesn't stop them from coming back. And have you ever tried spraying a 40' tree? It would be easier to climb the house and spray from the roof! I already removed the grape vine that was also infested (planned to remove it anyway) and we've debated removing the tree but that seems silly.

I feel bad because I think that if we had found out where they laid their grubs last year and done something to remove/kill the grubs, perhaps the neighborhood wouldn't be infested to this degree. Who knows. I don't remember them being here the first year we lived in this house so we have no idea what brought them to this little enclave on the east side. Urgh.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008