Friday, October 18, 2013

] A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Done Really Quick (Takes)

Joining Jen for some quick takes.

************* 1 **********

Normally in October, the leaves fall and cover up all the detritus around the yard we want to ignore for several months.  It's a lovely deal we have going.

This year, though, the falling leaves actually uncovered something we did not want to see,


especially not 100 yards from my front door.  The sight of a constant steam of bees flying in and out of that hive wasn't exactly appreciated, either.

With the kids' voices (discussing a possible reenactment of The Hunger Games trackerjack scene) still in my head, I googled "how to move a bee hive".  Know that I had no intention of moving it myself.  I simply wanted to know how to, and more importantly who could, move it.  I may do a lot of things around here, but moving a bee hive is not one of them.

In my 5 minutes of research, I learned that this is not, in fact, a bee hive, but a "paper wasp nest". 

I thought a beehive in my front yard was bad.  I was wrong.  Wasp is much worse.  Unlike bees, wasps can sting over and over again.  Plus, there's no such thing as a "waspkeeper" to come and take my nest away.  I'm stuck with it, unless I want to climb up and spray the entire thing with wasp killer.  Yes, I can hear you, Dear Reader, egging me on to do it, because wouldn't that make an awesome post!?!?  Yes.  Yes it would.  While I do love you and appreciate your support of my blog, I do not love you that much.

For one brief second I did consider killing the wasps, but I came to my senses.  We have unknowingly lived with this thing since spring (so says my research) without getting stung.  Plus, the colony won't be here much longer anyway.  I'm told (through my research) every one of those wasps, minus the queen, will die come winter.  Miss Queen Wasp will be taking a long winter's nap, then start a new nest somewhere else come spring.

Until that happens, you will find us playing in the back yard.

************** 2 **************

We're in the throes of phonics and spelling these days.  Not because I chose it.  If it were up to me, I'd wait until Cuckoo's and Turken's speech was a bit better.  I don't get to choose, though.  They want to learn. Consequently, we have conversations like this all day long:

Cuckoo:  I can spell "feather"!  F-E-D-

Me:  No, it's not a D sound, it's a T and an H together.  (Then demonstrate how to make the sound and say the word.)



Cuckoo:  I can spell "feather"!  F-E-D-

Turken:  No, you make the sound wif your froat, not your teef.

Me:  Hey, anyone want to play Dominoes?

****************** 3 ***************

Did you all notice my new photo avatar thing-a-ma-bob?  Buttercup took it for me.

Ignore it.  I don't look like that anymore.

After 8 months or so, I finally had a few moments to get myself a haircut.

The hairdresser and I had a nice, long talk.

Me:  I want my hair, when dry, to hit at my chin.  Not jaw.  Chin.
Her:  Like a bob?
Me:  That length, but with layers.  Lots of layers.
Her:  Long layers?
Me:  No, the top layer should be pretty short.  I don't want to be able to put my hair in a ponytail.
Her:  (measuring with her comb)  Five inches?
Me:  Yes.
Her:  Bangs?
Me:  Yes, that sweep to the side and land at the bottom of my eye.
Her:  I appreciate people who know their hair and what looks best on them.  It's much better than me telling you, since I just met you and your hair.

We were on the same page.  Same wavelength.  Talking the same language.  Simpatico, even.

Until she betrayed me.

And gave me a curly mullet.

Because, clearly, I have done something horribly unforgiveable to Fate, and she believes in revenge.

******************** 4 ***************

A mom, a grandma, a toddler, and a small baby were at the same park as us last week.  (As I reread that, I see it totally sounds like I should have ended that with a "walks into a bar" joke.) The grandma was in charge of staying with the baby in the stroller, while the mom followed her toddler all over the playground.  When I say she followed him, I mean she literally followed him.  Through the tunnels, down the slides, up the steps.  She even followed him down the climbing mountain thing, but instead of just following him, she held his hand while she tried to maneuver her way down.  It was quite precarious.  The poor boy was dangling by one arm, trying desperately to get his feet down on the little steps, while she slowly teetered down. 

She did not do this once, but several times.

Why do I tell you this?

Because it drove me crazy!!!  It was a week ago, and I am still thinking about her.

I soooo wanted to stop her and tell her to keep her feet on the ground.  Instead of following him on the playground, where she can't move nearly as fast as he can, (because the tunnels were made for kids) and wouldn't be able to stop him if he did get too close to an opening, she should stay off of the playground and firmly planted in the mulch below.  Be at the opening, where there is the slight chance of him falling, so she can catch him.  And when he gets to the wall, teach him how to climb down. 

I so often see parents who simply don't give their kids enough credit.  I have worked with kids for 30 years, and by and large, two year olds are capable of learning plenty of things.  They want to learn new things.  They want to be big kids.  We should encourage it, not squash it. I'm not saying parents should send their toddlers off to explore while the parents sit on the bench.  I'm saying parents should try to teach their young kids how to do things, then stand nearby.  Parents should be in position to actually help the kids, not stumble over them as they try to keep the kids safe. Kids are safer when they are taught how to maneuver, not when their parents maneuver for them.

(After that, you probably won't be surprised to hear that I am against the general use of baby gates on stairs.)
I'm thinking she may have punched me if I said all this to her.  Or perhaps she would have written her own blog post/facebook status update about the witch know-it-all at the playground. 

************** 5 ***********

And for a little blog business...

If I comment on your blog, and you see a bracket at the beginning of my comment, ignore it.  I seem to have a stuck button on my keyboard, and every time I start typing, it puts a bracket.  Every once in a while, it will stay stuck and keep typing, like thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis, except the bracket and not a letter, until I yell "NOOO!!! and punch the "back" key to beat the bracket back. 
Problem is, I cannot find this particular bracket on my keyboard to unstick it.  All I can figure is it's one of those mysterious keys on the top of the keyboard.  You know, the F keys with clip art on top.  Does anyone actually know why those keys come with our keyboards?

Anyway, sorry for the random brackets.  I'm tired of going back and deleting them, so you're just going to have to live with them.

**************** 6 ***************

} (Look!  There's one of the crazy brackets I just told you about!)

A remake of the movie "Carrie" is coming out this weekend. 

I don't know about you, but that movie has a special place in my heart.

Yes, I realize it is a terrible horror flick, but it is the movie COW and I saw on our first date.  Neither of us had a driver's license yet, so we went on a double date with COW's good friend and the friend's girlfriend.  The date started at a pizza place, where, in the restroom, the girlfriend told me COW's friend was a jerk, and she was going to be breaking up with him.  The date only got better when we then went to the friend's house to watch a movie.  His parents weren't home, so I had to lie to my dad during my check-in call.  "Sure, Dad, they're here.  Popping us some popcorn as I talk!"  Everyone took his seat for the movie.  Jerk Friend sat in the recliner, Jerk's girlfriend sat in a rocking chair, which left the couch for COW and me.  The movie started, (I had never heard of it.) and the first scene is of a girl who got her period for the first time being bullied by a bunch of mean girls in the locker room.  As the movie went on, Jerk's girlfriend angrily rocked in that rocking chair, and by the end, the chair had skootched practically all the way out of the room.

Remarkable, really, that we ever went on a second date. 

And 26 years, 6 kids later, the movie is back.  I wonder where Jerk and his girlfriend are and if they will be seeing the movie.

************** 7 **************

Speaking of 'versaries, Wednesday was exactly the three year anniversary of my first blog post.  I wrote for about 6 months, didn't really enjoy it, so gave it up for Lent.  Then two years ago, I jumped back in.  I changed my attitude and expectations, and haven't looked back.

I've seen that lots of people do something special on their "blogiversary", like a big giveaway.  I just did my first "giveaway" a few weeks ago, so I don't see that happening.  Sometimes bloggers do a big "about me" post.  I've been trying to come up with an idea for a new "about" page for weeks, but can't come up with a doggone thing.  So that "about me" post is out. 

I guess all you get is a "Hey!  It's my blogiversary!"

There are lots more (and better) quick takes over at Conversion Diary.  I'm sure Jen would be thrilled if you went and took a look.

Have a lovely day!


  1. I'd leave the nest alone too, but would take it down in the winter. Just in case.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

    1. That's my plan. I can't trust anything on our farm going as it is supposed to.

  2. OMG to the nest #1 and the hair second! Geez I hope it doesn't take another 8 months to get right. I absolutely loved FED - froat and teef! LOL!

    Gotta tell you - I'm scared of Carrie - don't want to see a remake or a repeat. And remakes are alway a million times scarier than the original.

    Like you but unofficially I didn't consistently blog in the beginning so I don't really have a "day" to celebrate. I guess that's good because I don't have to come up with anything special. I wrote my first post in summer 2010.

    Now I am going to go see if you left me a bracket. That symbol is two the the right of "P". It comes in handy for writing CSS code ;-)

    1. Hopefully the hair will be better in 4 weeks or so. Crossing my fingers.

      They are scarier the second time around, aren't they. Yeah, I'm not going.

      Great way of looking at the situation. You can be like our dog, which was a stray. We don't know his birthday, so we just don't worry about celebrating it.

      Ah! How did I miss that?!?! Probably because I have no idea what CSS code is. :)

  3. Ok...
    1. Wasp nest... by far the scariest one I have even seen! ew.
    2. Parenting. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said there. I was always one of those moms that when my kid fell down & got a booboo, we'd brush it off, I'd say something like "oh, that's too bad! are you ok?....ok, then.*kisses*.. go play now" No coddling ..unless the booboo really actually warranted coddling. This mom that you speak of, isn't doing her kid any favors--she can't ALWAYS be there for him to protect him from the big-bad world, better to teach him how to maneuver in the big bad world than to try to walk beside him in it.
    3. I have a similar story about the movie Carrie (for one, it was my name, and even though spelled differently, kids would still joke about it) I went on a blind date to watch the movie at a friend's house. Her parents were home though. On the way home, the guy, although I had just met him totally stole a kiss from me! I remember being a little mortified because all I did was go from looking out the window to looking the other direction and BAM! Never saw or went out with him again. ;-/
    But, being a Stephen King fan, I had read the book before I saw the movie so I knew what to expect when the scene in the girls' locker room came on.
    4. AND Wednesday was my FIRST Blog-o-versary!! I was like you... I felt like I should do something to celebrate, but.... I just haven't had time!! I even had a blog post title ready ("One Year in the Blog-o-Sphere" <--it even rhymes & everything!) *sigh* but didn't have time to write a post to go along with the title. Anyway, Happy Blogiversary to you!!

    1. 1. That's usually the reaction about horrible things around here. Why do we always have to have the worst/scariest/biggest?
      2. Glad I'm not the lone one out there.
      3. The nerve!
      4. Such a coincidence! Great title. Perhaps you can use it next year. Two years in the blog-o-spheres.

  4. That wasp nest is HUGE!!! How on earth did you keep your kids from knocking it down with a stick "just for fun?" That's exactly what my boys would have done! I also think your photo looks great. You are so lovely! An annoying haircut is such a bummer, but you're so beautiful, you can sport all of her revenge and still look great! #4 make me laugh. I'm that mom at the playground that other moms get mad at, because I actually LET my little ones play on the equipment. The thing is, they are perfectly strong and safe up there - it's the crazy parents' crazy kids running like thunder around them and knocking them down that gets me all ruffled. But, you know, I'm the one with sub-par parenting skills. Ah, the joys!! Have a great weekend!

    1. Ha! Only another mother of many boys would ask that question. :) It is 20 feet up in the air, on a branch that could never support a kid. They were seriously thinking about trying, though.

      You are so sweet.

      Those playgrounds are a cauldron of different styles, so many opinions and theories all mixed up in one small area. Certainly makes things interesting!

  5. Wow, the story with the wasp nest is amazing, especially that you never even noticed it. Love the speech thing with your little guys, doing similar things with Lily, English is not easy for little kids!

    1. No joke! How in the world did we not see that thing?!?!
      English is a dumb language in many ways. So many rules, but just as many words which break the rules.


    Ohhhhhhhhhh poor curly mullet


  7. 1.Definitely stay in the back yard. Wasps be nasty.
    2. Those little guys speak so CUTELY. Ignore phonics. Take them back to the park and let them keep the cuteness.
    3. Oh. Em. Gee. I can still barely breathe from laughing at the image of it. Please, PLEASE post a photo soon :D I've been very good and not suggested you tackle the wasp nest, but surely you could throw yourself 'pon your sword in this matter?
    4. So THAT'S 'helicopter parenting' is it? Cos I've heard the phrase and have no idea. Sounds irritating.
    5. }whatever
    6. Have you seen this?
    7. Happy Blogaversary. I, for one, am 'xtremely happy that you came back after that lenten bloggy fast, and changed your attitude and discovered how much you love it. And that you continue to love it and share your gorgeous life and family and all that goes with it, with us :) Here's to (at least) another three years :)

    1. 1. No doubt.
      2. I know. I'm fine with it for now. Eventually, though, it's gonna have to change. *sniffle*
      3. We'll see.
      4. You never knew what it was? Yes, the parent hovers like a helicopter, following every move the child makes.
      5. ]
      6. Yes, I did. I think you posted it somewhere. Funny, not scary.
      7. You are so good for my ego. :) Thanks!

  8. Sorry, can't stop laughing thinking about the curly mullet :)

    I once found a wasp nest in the unused rabbit hutch which was right outside the back door. It would have cost a fair bit to get someone to come and deal with it so I sprayed it with some stuff from the local DIY store and killed the lot. Bees I don't mind but wasps, definitely not!

    Happy Blogaversary - whatever you do don't stop writing. Having discovered your blog through this year's A to Z I just can't get enough of it. I just love reading about you, your family, and life with the animals - long may it continue.

    1. Funny, I can't stop crying. :)

      I'm not a fan of bees, either, but they are better than wasps. We have one HUGE beehive in a tree in one of the fields. I'm fine with that one. We had one in the ground right outside the backdoor once. We did all we could to kill every one of those buggers. I would have done the same thing to the wasps in your case.

      Aw, thank you! That A to Z was a great place to meet new people, wasn't it? I probably never would have found your gorgeous site otherwise.

  9. That is one stinking HUGE wasp nest!!!!! Why do I have a picture of you in a bee suit going to have a look?!?!? :)

    And just so ya know...I would never, EVER laugh at a bad haircut. Nope. Not me. A visual would be appreciated though. :P

    1. Tell me about it! Because you are dreaming.

      Hardy, har, har. Liar. :)

  10. Frankly I am shocked and appalled that you would EVER lie to your parents. I cannot believe it.

    Have I seem you since the haircut? It seems that your hair was shorter as we sat in my car and chatted, but apparently it is not nearly so terrible as you describe because I think I would have noticed that.

    Laughed out loud at the phonics lesson. I can picture it perfectly. Fabulous! :)

    1. It was the one and only time. Honestly. I felt so blasted guilty.

      Yes, I had the haircut by then. But when we were talking, I kept my sunglasses on the top of my head. You couldn't tell.

      Those conversations are funny, just a little long. :)

  11. That nest is GINORMOUS! Definitely knock it down during the winter, or some lovely wasp will decide it is a good home. I think you should have told that lady to let the kid try and do some of those things himself. Poor kid.

    1. I KNOW! I may have to assign that knocking it down job to a child. :)

      I seriously thought about starting a discussion with her.

  12. Parenting brings out such diversity of opinion. I agree with you (although I have used baby gates), but I remember a time when my oldest was 2 or 3 and another parent thought I should be following my son around like the woman you observed. I'm sure that parent thought they were giving me good parenting advice; I just told them my son was fine--which he was!

    1. That's why I kept my mouth shut that day. Even though I know I'm right *smirking* it wasn't my place to tell her.

  13. If I lived closer, I'd come and spray that nest down. I got to do that some in the summers I used to paint houses. It's rather fun to watch it fall to the ground. Boom!

    Fun post. I like doing things like this as well at times.

    As for the overprotective mother. Seems like it's society, no? Blue ribbons for everybody. Make sure nobody is a kid. Drives me nuts. I'm glad I grew up in a time when people allowed kids to scrape knees, get into scuffles, fall, play sports and not get in the way. Life was much better then. And, look, we turned out OK!

    }}}}}congrats on your Blogiversary! }}}}}

  14. Bummer. I'd like to see that. My husband painted houses during summer college breaks. I don't remember taking down wasp nests as part of the job.

    Yes, there are a lot of parents who lean towards the overprotective. I see it all the time in the classroom.

    Thanks!! }}} :)

  15. congrats on the blogoversary! Many blogs fizzle out after the first year, so GO YOU! I love your writing, and your sausage video, and your wisdom about kids. Keep it up!


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