Doug from UP(click here if you don’t get the Squirrel bit)

I maybe oldish but there are many benefits to age these days. One of the biggest benefits of my age is memory. No, I am not joking here (but it is funny – LOL), the adage is as you get older you lose your memory. Well, yes and no on that one.

I subscribe to MNN (Mother Nature Network), and one of their recent articles made me think: 7 Signs we are too dependent on technology. The sub-headline is the question: Remember when you actually knew your friends’ phone numbers? What remember? I still do know most all of my family and closest friends phone numbers, and even some addresses. Maybe it’s the math geek in me (or my OCD on lists of all kinds), but I have always been good at numbers. Who would have thought that I had any space left up there? (Hee, Hee!)


They then go on to talk about how much we depend on our internet, buy things through it blah-blah-blah…same old stuff. The other items on the list were also things that I had heard before and knew… BUT… the 3rd question really hit home for me. You don’t live in the moment. It was right! I have been so worried about getting the “picture” I was actually missing out on a large amount of other things going on around me.

I needed that shot of the bird in the bush, but missed the silly walk day my grandson and sister were doing. Those types of memories only happen in that rare moment of time, and then are gone forever.

silly walks

Now, just today 2-29-16, I went so cleverly to the local Post Office to mail a simple package to my other sister in Aurora – and what dummy put the wrong zip code on the label – yep, that would be me (yes, I am laughing hysterically at myself as I type this)! Got the name, street address, city and state just perfect – no cheating with an address book for me. Then slapped on MY zip code without even batting an eye. Took getting it all the way to the very smart Postal Lady to figure out just how “duh” I had been. At least, we both got a great laugh out of it (she had to point it out to me twice – double duh, for not paying attention).

So my Pre-Saint Pats day resolution (yep ½ Irish and proud of it – not sure mom would be right now – ha, ha, ha) – LIVE IN THE MOMENT – YA IDIOT! Stop my swirling brain long enough to get what’s going on right in front of me.

Funny, I still remember a time when I used to be proud of thinking and doing several things at one time – Multi Tasking – not no more, apple core – who’s your friend – ME! (Yes, that last bit is a Disney reference – check it out here! Hee, Hee) OH SURE – I remember the quote from a childhood memory, but can’t tell you what I had for lunch yesterday? Ok, I watch too many cartoons, so shoot me!

chip n dale

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I believe it is our job as humans to take care of the other creatures we share the planet with – yes, even spiders (yucky!).

brown spider pic

We try to keep at least one or 2 spiders in our home (as long as they stay up on the ceiling out of reach) to help control flies and other bothersome pests. We have Bull Snakes which help to keep the rodent population down (as long as I don’t confront one while weeding, I’m cool with it). We have free-range fowl that help to keep the grasshopper population at bay (just gotta watch the turkeys – they will steal your hot peppers, and the ducks will take up residence between the tomato plants and pluck the fruit at the peak of ripeness – jerks!).

We have learned a ton of natural gardening methods to deter all different kinds of critters. We would prefer to deter, then eliminate. However, once in a while, you get something that you just do not want anywhere on your property! For us, that is the Yellow Jacket Wasp!

yellow jacket wasp pic

I know it is our job as humans to tend to the creatures of the planet, but I have a real hard time when it comes to the Yellow Jacket. It is a mean monster that will sting for no reason, and do it over and over and over again. The poor Honey bee loses its guts if it stings you! I am pretty sure I wouldn’t want to sting anything if it meant having my insides pulled out – yucky and OUCH!

Please don’t confuse them with our wonderful Honey Bees:

honey bee pic

I am posting pics of both at a fairly close distance so you can learn the differences. We also love our Mason Bees

mason bee pic

I call them my Fuzzy Bees. They are about the same size as a black fly (another nasty pest), but they are all fuzzy looking here. I have heard that some are black; I have never seen a black one, just our creamy tan little cuties (yes, I love it when they rest on me – too fun!)

Then we also have what is called a Mud Wasp (also called Mud Dauber or Dirt Digger):

mud wasp

(Don’t let this pic fool you – they are only about ½ inch long when full grown, would rather walk and flick their wings they fly around after you.) Do NOT confuse them with the mean wasp family as they are not a baddy but a goodie. They usually travel alone and eat the baddies in your gardens. They like to hang around buildings collecting mud for their nests. Ours made a home between the bricks on the patio off the east porch steps. We also have a small crack in the steps when the house shifted, and she will fly from patio to porch and back. Never hurt any of us, have seen her attack a daddy long legs spider, and a pill bug. So she can stay!

In all fairness, I went to Wikipedia, which then led me to UC Davis Edu. This finally gave me the answer to my question – What are they good for? According to this article – little to nothing, which is what I thought. They are very predatory and will keep other pests away, however; I have seen them take out a Honey Bee hive (ticked me off!). So unless one of my readers can give me a good reason to keep them around, I will continue to eliminate them every chance I get!

I was weeding around a wagon of ours, it had some pretty tall grasses and some picker weeds – time for it all to go. I felt a burning sensation on the back of my hand (yep – no gloves, stupid me!) and when I pulled my hand up and flipped it over – 3 of the nasty monsters were going to town on my hand – grrr! I brushed them off and stomped on them, then went to the pump, got some cold water and made a mud pack. Slapped it on my hand which, by now, was about doubled in size and tight as a drum! Please note that I am not allergic to these buggers, or bees for that matter, but their sting is that bad!

So my takeaway today is “kill the hornet, kill the hornet, kill the hornet” (you have to sing that to the Bugs Bunny Opera episode – Elmer is a Viking, Bugs is Brunhilda – hee hee)Whats opera doc

(FYI – One of my all-time favorite Cartoons!)


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