Archive for August, 2007

Yes, I’m still here…

August 20, 2007

Just very, very busy.  Please pray for the repose of the soul of my Uncle Buddy.  He passed away last Wednesday.  We found out while on a field trip to Arnold Air Force Base, which,  incidentaly was a wonderful place to visit.  So, we went home that afternoon and got Mother a flight out and back again.  We had to leave very early on Friday morning and somehow I missed the airport.  I have been there before and was following the signs, but something got past me.  She hates me to take her because we always end up running late.  Because of that this time was no different!  Ugh!  Mother did, however make her flight.  The rest of the weekend we had problems with our phone line so I could not get online to update anything or even to check my mail.  Today I woke up with the gum above my tooth that is no longer there very sore.  I feel an infection coming on.  It is frustrating trying to regain health.  The up side is I feel better overall and have lost 16 pounds.  Yeah!  Today I am awaiting Mother’s flight.  We were going to be gone already, but my sister called to warn us that the flight was delayed.  So, we are waiting some more.

This year for our homeschool we decided to purchase uniforms.  The real reason is daily Mass.  Sometimes we would get there and I could not believe what my children were wearing.  Now I just say, “Get your uniforms on.”  Of course Kevin has managed to stain a stain resistant shirt many times over and it is only the second week wearing it!    Here is a picture of MaryEllen in hers…  uniform1.jpg  you have never seen a child so excited to put one of these things on!

We have already harvested some pumpkins.  There are no huge ones, but that is OK.  There has been a severe drout and they have not been watered as much as they needed to be.   Last year when I harvested them I brought them right up and in the house for cool storage.  Something that I read this winter said it was good to leave them cure in the field for a few days.  We tried that this year and a few of them went soft and the bugs became a problem.  The rest we took right in.  There are several more up there that need to be picked, but that will have to wait a day or two.  Here’s the view under the kitchen table this year, so far…undertable1.jpg

So, there is the update.  Thanks for checking.

Attack of the Cow Killer!

August 3, 2007

Well, not really, but what a catchy title!

This afternoon Joe was out in the front yard while the children were in the little pool. Something was going on in the house that very rarely happens. I was watching a video. (It was a macrobiotic cooking video, in case you were wondering.) Joe came running in shouting “Kris, you have GOT to come out and see this red bug. Bring your camera!” I went running out the office door with my camera and the bug was gone. Joe was fired up and looking through the dirt pile trying to find it. The mother in me came out. “Pray to St. Anthony.” No sooner had I said that the bug was spotted over right near the house. The minute I saw the thing, a big red “Danger” sign appeared in my mind. It was moving really fast which made it really hard to get a good picture. Also, I must admit, since it looked like a giant ant, I didn’t want to get anywhere near it. (Ants in the south bite hard and some sting!) Truthfully it was a beautiful bug. It was a beautiful shade of red with shiny black and it looked like velvet covered it.

I did manage to get some pictures. After that the handy dandy bug book came out. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders has this bug on the cover! Well, this is going to be easy. The only thing is that the cover picture does not do the bug justice. Here is what this book says about Cow Killers:

“Female searches for bumble bee nests and drops 1 egg beside each brood chamber. Cow Killer larvae invade brood chambers, feed on the larvae, kill them, and scavenge on their remains. Cow Killer larvae pupate in victim’s brood chambers.

Adult Cow Killers can run quickly and fight ferociously. They get their name from their painful sting – so severe that many people claim it could kill a cow.”

The scientific name is Dasymutilla magnifica.

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