Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Haunted by Margaret Thatcher?

  I now know entirely more about Margaret Thatcher than I ever thought I would.

Is she visiting me in dreams? No.

Is she haunting me? No

Am I attending a graduate course at the local college on the highlights and lowlights of her life and rule? No.

It's time to do a school project. Not me, but Sweet Pea. And being the wonderful mother that I am, I am assisting. And I have to say, I'm really sick of reading about her. That's all.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Miniature Armadillos

So, the other day I spent some time gathering pill bugs. Yes, that's right. Gathering pill bugs. (also known as potato bugs, doodle bugs or miniature armadillos)

What?!?! Why on earth would anyone do that? Well, Doodlebug is doing something in school with ecosystems in jars and they needed some bugs. The first place we looked was the basement. In the spring, we always get some pill bugs down there. But could we find one when we need one? Of course not. But, spiders are also fairly common in the basement. There are several who have names, who stay politely in their webs, so I leave them alone. The brave and strong hubby attempted to capture one of these, but it was too wily and skittered into hidden spots before it could be captured.

So, we finally headed outside (gasp!) to look for bugs. We found some very cooperative pill bugs in the rocks out front. We gathered up about 5 of them along with some rocks and rotting leaves.

And this morning, Doodlebug headed off to school with his bugs in his backpack. Wait, what? What's that on the table? Is that a jar of bugs??


Tuesday, May 19, 2015


So, as you may know from previous posts, we had 3 gerbils. A little over a year ago we got Dusty, Toast and Chippy. Dusty was always frail - thin and smaller than the other two, but she was very energetic and healthy, or so it seemed. She died after about 8 months or so. But Chippy and Toast carried on in their gerbilly way.

And the other day, little Toast died. She looked ill for the last few weeks so we knew she might not be long for this world, but it's sad to see her go. For a gerbil, she was a very funny little critter. she is the only gerbil we ever had who would sprawl out on her back, tummy up to the air, snoozing without a care in the world - as if she was taunting any would-be-predators. (the others always curled up in a ball to sleep). She was lazy, chubby and loved to eat. She loved to snuggle up with Chippy and really didn't seem to mind being held by us humans - she would sit contentedly for a little while while we scratched behind her ears. We gave her a nice burial in a heart shaped box in the backyard near Dusty. She will be missed.

And now little Chippy is all alone. We'll have to heap extra attention on her, which I'm sure she would prefer to do without. Hopefully she'll stay with us for a good long time.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Hootie Fiasco

It's spring and every spring we have a few weeks where the ants come into the house to explore. We get the little tiny ones that check out the sink, the counters and the dishwasher and the bigger black ones that just wander through the entire house looking for whatever it is that those ants look for. After a few weeks they mostly go away. But I don't like bugs. Ants aren't the worst thing we could have wandering around, but they do have 6 legs so I prefer they stay outside.

So, there I am, working diligently on my computer when out of the corner of my eye I see movement. Movement of the bug variety. It's an ant. On the wall. In my computer room! Ugh! So I grab a very large boot and smash it. It falls down behind the desk. I'm satisfied. I get back to work.

I should also mention that I have a small collection of stuffed owls. Not, like, taxidermy stuffed, but plush toys. I have 4 identical Hooties sitting on a shelf. For whatever reason, I glanced at the Hooties and what did I see? An ant! Walking across Hootie 1's beak! Ugh! I can only assume that my awesome, spectacular, panicked boot-smash was less than effective. That the ant I 'smashed' simply tripped and fell behind the desk, then promptly brushed off his mandibles and got back to exploring, no doubt cursing the whole time.

Anyway, so there's this ant walking across Hootie! I very carefully picked Hootie up by a wing and quick as an owl in flight, I ran to the bathroom and shook him vigorously over the toilet in an attempt to dislodge the ant who was circling Hootie, probably looking for my fingers so he could climb up my arm.

Then, no surprise here, I lost my grip on Hootie and he tumbled into the toilet, ant and all.

Nooooooooo! Hoooootieeeee!

Hootie rolled once or twice and managed to dislodge the ant. I snatched Hootie up by the talon, leaving the ant behind. I quickly flushed the ant away, breathing a sigh of relief that it was gone and that Hootie was out of harms way - a bit damp, slightly wide eyed, but just fine.

Damn ants!