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Putting Ladybugs to Work

Last Thursday after bridge Trish drove the Mercedes, with your blogger friend as passenger, to Palmer Nursery in Winter Park to buy ladybugs. Earlier in the week she purchased some to eat the aphids in her garden and suggested I might want to as well. It sounded intriguing to me so I was more than happy to agree.

The clerk went in to the back, bringing out what looked like a cottage cheese container with holes in the top, filled with shavings like you might find in a hamster cage. Plus, the aforementioned ladybugs. Hundreds of them really, or so it seemed. Receiving the very specific instructions on their release I brought them home, put them in the refrigerator to wait until dusk. Apparently, that is the ideal time to let them go. Following that part of the instruction was easy, what wasn't quite so much was how to get them out of the container. Seeing the container full of them when you first take it out of the fridge, you'd think they were dead because they, well, because they look that way. Soon thereafter, however, they begin moving. I let some out last week, last night, the rest of the gang.
Don't they look cute here?
It's funny how we think, or at least I think, that some bugs are cute, some not so much. As you know, I'm no fan of mosquitoes. In fact, they like me much more than I do them, constantly biting me whenever the opportunity presents. The other night I slept in the guest room. Why, you ask? I'll tell you why--I woke up scratching like a mad woman. My chin, my shoulder and my chest were itching and stinging like crazy due to a bedtime encounter with those maddening insects. I'm not sure how in the world there was at least one in our bedroom, but after applying my itch cream, which fortunately was on my bedside table, I huddled under the covers trying to evade another attack. I could hear the pesky bugger buzzing nearby, thus both myself and Baxter retreated to my former office, shut the door, turned on the ceiling fan and went back to sleep in peace.

But I digress.....According to the ladybug container, they love aphids, in fact, it's their favorite food. Yesterday morning, before sunrise I was in my work clothes ready to tackle the yard/garden. Did I tell you that SOMETHING ate almost all of my beautiful basil? Apparently sage, or for that matter oregano, hold little appeal to whatever creature feasted on my basil. Chives are apparently very tasty as well. Eaten down to the dirt! I'm pretty sure I told you my serano pepper plant is a goner as well. Anyway, my beautiful jatropha plants are growing like nobodies business, in one stretch almost reaching the windowsill already! Matt and Tom will remember helping to cover those very same plants during our early winter freezes. It worked my loves. It was very hard to trim them because they are covered with darling red flowers, however, I do not want plants covering the windows again. EVER. What I discovered, once lots of the new growth was trimmed, were aphids. Lots of them. Thus, the rest of the ladybugs were put to work, once the sun went down last night. Once again, according the the container, if you put them out at dusk, they eat, fly away for a bit, returning at dusk the next day to get their fix. I hope to let you know soon if this is a success story or not. The azaleas out front are another feasting ground for them.
So, there are several things to take away from this picture aside from the ladybugs crawling on my hand.
  • Gail with polished nails--a once or twice a year event. This is my new Essie polish, which by the way, is called A list. Still hanging in there from Saturday, which is pretty impressive if you ask me.
  • Blood blister on fourth finger by said nail. It seems as if I can't do a thing these days without hurting myself. If you can imagine, I shut the screen door on my fingers at the museum on Tuesday and I'm here to tell you that it hurt. Bad. Fortunately, this is all the damage I did. 
  • When the young curator at the museum saw me on Tuesday she exclaimed that she loved my new hair which she thought made me look 20 years younger. Well, I don't know about that, but what I do know is that your hands give your age away every time.  Mine included.
Saturday evening while Regina was photographing us in our fancy duds, she kept saying, don't look at the camera, you have something much more interesting to look at. She was right about that; my darling husband looked awesome in his tuxedo!
Sister Nancy, take note of the make up--Photo Ready by Revlon is awesome! I'm including this photo because over Bruce's right shoulder you see just the corner of Corrine and Herb's carport. Actually, you see Corrine's 1998 Buick, but that's getting a little technical don't you think? So where are you going with this, pray tell? I'm seriously worried about Corrine is where I'm going.

Yesterday morning, the phone rang (imagine that!), with Corrine on the other end, saying in her slow Alabama drawl that she had several magazines for me, however, she just didn't feel up to making the trip across the street with her walker. I promised to come over as soon as I could. After running some errands, I picked up our little Baxter, and went to visit. I'd been planning to go swimming for the first time this year, however, that had to wait. You know me--I say pretty much what I'm thinking and this time was no exception. The moment I walked in the door I noticed she'd lost weight. Turns out it is 20 pounds, which is a heck of a lot of weight to lose in short order. As well, she's got some other symptoms which concern me greatly. I postponed my planned swimming for an hour or so as we visited. I made her laugh with my bridge story from last week. I also told her if it took crying at her doctor visit to get his attention, so be it. Cry my friend, tell him how worried you are that something serious is happening to your body. All the while we were chatting Baxter was roaming around their house, mostly looking for dropped crumbs I suspect. I bring him along because both Herb and Corrine get a kick out of his cute little face and demeanor. Some of you out there are thinking well, she is old, which is a fact, 85, if you're wondering, however up until this bout of weakness, she was still working several days of the week. I hope my concerns are for naught, but my instincts tell me otherwise.

I've added several new blogs to my blog list, one of which was recommended to me by my friend Karen, and I'm glad she did. Beautiful photography and fun writing. A fancy photography blog as well as a make up blog. It was time because most of the others I've listed never write a thing! I'll leave you with this fantasticl rendition of Adele's latest song, "Rolling in the Deep" by John Legend. Reposting from Matt's blog...

P.S. I finished reading The Empty Family yesterday afternoon and there are hardly enough adjectives to describe it's brilliance. One caveat--several stories contain sensitively written gay sex scenes, so if this bothers you, don't read it, otherwise, prepare to be blown away by the writing.
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