Saturday, April 25, 2015


Emily was home alone last weekend when we got a frantic text from her.  She thought there was a huge spider in the house.  Emily, and especially Erin, are both terrified of spiders, but Emily is phobic about all bugs.  As you can see from these screenshots of our message thread, Erin had fun with the situation.

In defense of Emily’s phobia, she was just a little thing (perhaps 2 years old) when an angry hornet flew out of a bush and stung her on the backs of her legs 4 or 5 times before I was able to swat it to the ground and stomp on it.  It stung my finger and that hurt like a mother; I really pitied Emily with those big red welts on her legs (later they became bruises).  Ice and baking soda stopped the hurt, and for several days we put Benadryl Cream on the places for the terrible itch.  She recovered and the incident was forgotten. 
Even after the hornet incident, Emily showed no fear of creepy-crawlies until she was older, perhaps 5 or 6 years old.  We were on vacation and visited a large enclosed butterfly house.  It was filled with giant exotic plants, butterfly feeding stations, and the most beautiful butterflies (all sizes and colors) from around the world.  Emily had no hesitation to go inside, but once through the double-doors, she became   fearful.  I assured her all the butterflies were harmless but she stayed close to my side.  A giant blue butterfly flew near her face which caused her to scream and swat at it.  It was apparent to me that she was seriously terrified and certainly we didn’t want my kid injuring any creatures.  I grabbed her up and exited immediately, leaving Erin with Someone to enjoy the exhibit.

Emily and I sat outside.  She cried for a bit but then became her usual cheerful self again.  Erin and Someone came out eventually.  Erin tried to get her to go back in, but she refused.  Erin and I went back in while Someone sat with Emily.  Since that day, Emily has continued to be afraid of butterflies, moths, and every other bug on the planet.  I hope someday she will get over it.

We have stink bugs around this part of Kentucky.  They are supposed to stink if you squash one.  I have never smelled one that I know of.  When they come into the house, both girls are afraid of them but they won’t touch them.  So, they trap them under a bowl or glass and wait for me or Someone to get rid of them.  Some people call them shield bugs.  For some reason, my girls call them triangle bugs.  I suppose if you beheaded one, its remaining body would be a little like a triangle with rounded corners.   

Came home from work one day and found this
Halyomorpha halys

Friday, April 17, 2015

Phase 2 begins

Something very good happened for KYLady this week.  Something she has hoped, hoped, hoped for finally happened.  After all that hope and the milestone is here, she is worried, worried, worried.  It makes no sense at all.  KYLady is just an old worry-wart, apparently.
Phase 2 of career change is official.  I have another job – two teaching jobs now, plus my real job.  The offer came in earlier this week.  I about choked when I saw the email.  Where there is usually rejection verbage in the email title, something like SORRY, it said WELCOME.  My mind refused to believe it until the email opened and my eyes confirmed that it was, in fact, a solid offer.  I’m in.  Not only am I in, they want me to begin teaching my first class on May 11.  I have to finish a bunch of self-paced training first.  There’s not much time…and I have to travel for my real job again which eats into my free time…and I have two other classes that don’t wrap up until May 8…and I am just starting a class on Coursera this week that I really really wanted to finish, but now it seems completely out of the question to continue with it.

KyLady wishes she could be more like Wonder Woman

The new job will be teaching master-level classes…something very different for me.  I wonder how that will be…like, am I good enough for that?  In some ways I’m a jack of all IT trades and a master of none.  At the same time, I’m very specialized in some areas.  I do believe though, at this level in an online program, I will be more like a facilitator and administrator rather than a teacher.  I want to do good, whatever it takes.  Dr KYLady will find a way to be successful with this.  I need to find at least one more teaching job before asking my real-job supervisor if I can change to part-time hours.  Going part-time will herald Phase 3 of Career Change.
 We are supposed to have the most perfect spring weather tomorrow – sunny, and 80 degrees.  With so much hanging over my head, I’m determined to get up early and take my kayak out.  It has been sitting in the garage through all the winter snow and ice waiting for the lakes to thaw.  It misses me.  I miss it.  I must go early because every fisherman will be putting his boat in the water somewhere tomorrow.  There will be old fishermen in the morning, but the younger ones will sleep in.  They are the ones I hate to be out on the water with.  They are noisy and obnoxious.  They “fish” to spend a day out on the lake drinking with their buddies.
KYLady bought seeds this week – Someone insists we plant half runners and Silver Queen.  Blah!  If it were me having my way in the garden, we would grow Derby beans and a super-sweet hybrid corn, such as Candy or How-Sweet-It-Is.  Heck…I’d like to have the job to name plant varieties and paint colors…wouldn’t that be fun?  I also bought seeds for lettuce, carrots, and radishes.  These will not be planted in our regular garden.  No sir!  These are going into a new raised bed that I will construct in all my free time in the next two weeks.

My raised bed will go directly behind our house close in where I expect Miss Gracie to keep the deer and critters, and most importantly – MOLLY, out of it.  Molly likes nothing more than to lay and roll around in a nice soft bed of lettuce.  It’s especially important that my mini-garden do exceptionally well.  Why?  Because Someone insists that if raised beds were practical, his grandfather and father would have used them.  Someone comes from a long lineage of know-it-alls.  I asked Someone if his dad or grandfather grew carrots.  He said no.  Of course they didn’t!  It’s hard to grow nice carrots in this dense clay soil without a raised bed.  Duh!  He’s a non-believer, so we must prove him wrong. 

My youngest ladies will both be home this weekend to apply for summer jobs.  I do hope they are successful in finding work.  It will be good experience for them to have real jobs and work for money.  It’s good for anyone to earn his or her own money – it gives the person a better sense of how he or she is spending money….meaning how much work or time does it take to earn x-amount of money, and is the item worth that much work or time to him or her.  You don’t get that same intuition when you are always spending money somebody else has earned.

Friday, April 3, 2015

hard labor

Back in my youth, I was strong for a girl.  It might be that having only brothers to play with, and being a bit competitive by nature, and maybe in part just because of the things I liked to do in my free time, I was always the strongest girl in my grade based on annual physical fitness tests we were given at school (up through 8th grade).  We were made to run, jump, throw a softball, do chin-ups on a bar, do push-ups, and do sit-ups.  We were scored and unfortunately a score sheet was posted for everyone in the school to see.  Not unfortunate for me as much as unfortunate for the sorry kids near the bottom, most of whom were overweight or frail.  Some of the boys made fun of me calling me the dykiest girl, but it was probably true and I didn’t really care.  Besides, I was nearly always the first girl picked for teams in gym class when it was boys picking the teams.

Brothers and me in the sand pile

One of the boys always near the bottom of the list every year was a skinny kid named Bernie.  Bernie was always picked on, but he was nice to me so I appreciated that.  I even went out with him on a date once when we were 15; that was my first date ever – pizza and a movie.  It was a very big deal for me, and I went even though my girlfriends told me not to do it because he was too geeky.  I didn’t care what they thought of him.  I had fun, and I think he did too.  He asked me out one other time, but I had to decline because of my job.  He never asked again so maybe he found somebody else to date.  Anyway, little skinny Bernie grew tall sometime after high school and began lifting weights.  He became a state patrolman and went on to join the marines.   Even now, when most military men at our age are retired, Bernie is fighting terrorists in Africa.
Yesterday evening, it really hit home that I’m no longer the spring chicken I used to be.  We had some trees cut in our yard last year.  It’s been on my task list to split and stack the logs.  It’s hard work!  I know what hard work it is because I use to do a lot of wood carrying and stacking when I was a kid.  Also, my first husband and I heated our house with wood and coal, so we were always going out to cut wood.  We would start early (just at daybreak), to cut, split, load, and unload a pickup truckload of wood at least one Saturday a month, and it was a very long, hard day of work.  Sometimes we didn’t get the truck unloaded until the next day…it was that much work for two people. 

I completely underestimated the task of splitting and stacking these logs in the yard, and overestimated my ability and patience to do such hard work.  The logs are more seasoned now than when they were first cut, so they should be easier to split now.  They are a tad easier to split.  Even so, I only did five logs last night before I was completely worn out.  At that rate, this chore may well take years to finish. 

In truth, an axe would be the best tool for this job.  I’m using a wedge (well, two wedges for larger logs) and a sledge hammer.  We have an axe, but I haven’t mustered enough balls courage to consider using it myself.  Once when cutting kindling wood with a hatchet, I cut my leg.  It was scary and unfortunate, simple carelessness and inexperience on my part, and I’m damn lucky it wasn’t worse than it was.  I haven’t forcefully chopped anything with a sharp tool since that day.  It’s probably time to try again, especially if I want our logs finished up this year. 

This shows about 25% of the logs waiting to be split.

Hardest part is getting the wedge started into the log.

Progress, Log is starting to split.

Drat!  Wedge is stuck in the log - now I use the other wedge to finish the job.  

By the way, the good news is that it looks like the crack in the big maple tree has just about closed up.  Taking the weight off really made a difference.  When the weather warms and stays warm, I’ll drag the hammock out…of course, cutting logs will be less likely to happen then.          

Thursday, April 2, 2015

fish bait

KYLady wrote another lame-ass poem today, but I kind of like it...well, I think I I'll post it here for all eternity (that is, until I delete my blog, or the end of blogger, or the world is destroyed...whatever comes first).

It has no title.  Perhaps I could call it Ode to the Much Too-Long Pointless Meeting...a lame-ass poem by KYLady.

Shape shifters.
Life drifters sliding through time.
Hide your eyes.
Bury dreams.
Reality rips holes in the souls
of those who can't outrun it.
The wise realize
it's not as hopeless as it seems.

Oh yes...and my vast KyLady fan club must be wanting some sort of stated interpretation of the above lame-ass poem.  I will tell you this - it means just what it says.