Yellowjacket bee

Setting My Husband Up For Failure

It’s never intentional if my husband injures himself while assisting me. For instance, one day after shopping, I returned home and found him sitting at the kitchen table staring at me with cold, bleary eyes. I asked him what was wrong.

He said, “Though I am not big on gardening, you wanted me to turn your compost pile, and I thought that I would get some exercise and help you. It didn’t work out well.”

“Thanks for aerating my garden soil, but your face is flushed. What happened and why are you giving me a mean look?  Why are you breathing hard?”

“While I was raking, I hit a yellowjacket nest. Bees swarmed and stung my neck, face, arms, and legs. They even got into my shorts and up my tee-shirt sleeves. I think that I was stung over 20 times. I ran up the deck stairs to escape them and found a locked door.  I ran back down the stairs, around the side to the front door, in the house, and up the steps. With my clothes on, I jumped in the shower to remove the bees that continued to sting me. If you have any questions, I left several in the drain for you to count. Why did you lock the door anyway?”

” I’m sorry, but latching the door is a habit. Did the dog didn’t get stung?”

“No, he’s okay.”

“Thank goodness, but I hope that you are alright too.”

I gave my husband some Benadryl, and then to ensure that he was not exaggerating, I counted about 12 bees in the tub. We rode to the emergency room, and the doctors gave him a shot of adrenaline that made him anxious for a few hours, but he survived another episode caused by dorothyadele.

Since I didn’t want a divorce, I never asked him to work with my dirt compound again. Before I raked it, I waited until the bees were hibernating because they were not stinging me.

Now, I have a barrel composter that I turn to mix the soil. It’s a shame that my husband learned the hard way.


New Expectations for 2013


IMG_0706-2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


New Year’s Day arrives with slight sadness because the hectic gift buying, decorating, baking and party planning is over. But January brings new expectations. After New Years, I “undecorate” my home and happily anticipate return to my daily routine.

I love to trudge to the woodpile and hear the hard snow crunch under my boots . My large loyal dog skips in circles around me as I make my trek. He acts like the trip is a big game. Once inside, the orange-popping warmth radiates from our fireplace as we engage in family-dinner conversations. I learn that there is a lot that I don’t know about my children (and will never know).

My kitchen window offers entertainment. In January, the brightly colored blue birds usually find the heated bird bath that perches on my deck railing. The rare fresh water offers drinks and relief on frozen days. Sometimes several bluebirds, as many as five, dip their beaks and flap their wings in the bath.

I watch red-crested and yellow-breasted- black-and-white-winged woodpeckers compete at the suet feeder. Occasionally, I glimpse the elusive Pileated Woodpecker (who looks like Woody Woodpecker). The striking black bird stands about 16-inches tall with white stripes that line both sides of its face and throat. The woodpecker sports a brilliant red crest which sharply contrasts with its black and white coloring. The bird is stunning.

I visit Home Depot‘s inside garden department in winter and inhale the greenhouse-like warmth and humidity. Sweet fragrance from creamy white gardenia flowers permeate the air. The fragrance reminds me of spring, and I can’t resist taking a plant home.

I look forward to seed catalogues to plan my spring and summer gardens. I grow some of my flowers indoors from seed. I plant them in moist dirt in black seed trays covered by a clear plastic lid which increases humidity for germination. I watch for tiny green leaves to slip out of the soil. When I remove the plastic cover, I breathe the humid- soil-moist air that reminds me of warm days working in my garden.

I anticipate lacrosse season because I enjoy the brutal excitement of the game. Lacrosse means spring has arrived. I dress in hats gloves and scarves for the cold early March games. I know that by May, I will watch games wearing shorts and t-shirts.