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Category: Animals



I don’t know what made her sit so still, but Matilda was rather tolerant of me the other day:

Matilda tolerance

It didn’t seem to bother her too much. She just got up and walked away after I finished with the pictures (she’s a good model). ;)



Yellow Jacket
1. Any of several paper wasps of the family Vespidae, having black and bright yellow bands.

n: Any large, stinging paper wasp of the family Vespidae, as Vespa crabro (giant hornet), introduced into the U.S. from Europe, or Vespula maculata (bald-faced hornet or white-faced hornet), or North America.

n: 1. Any of numerous social or solitary hymenopterous insects of the Vespidae, Sphecidae, and allied families, generally having a long, slender body and narrow waist and, in the female, a stinger.

n: an arthropod family of the order Hymenoptera including: yellow jackets; hornets; mason wasps.

noun plural: an order of highly specialized insects with complete metamorphosis that include the bees, wasps, ants, ichneumon flies, sawflies, gall wasps, and related forms, that often associate in large colonies with complex social organization, and that have usually four membranous wings and the abdomen generally borne on a slender pedicel.

Had enough?

So have we.

We have been having a little Vespidae party in our bedroom for about two weeks now.  We don’t know where they are coming from, but at least once a day one is crawling up our bedroom window.  Last night, one was crawling up the power cord for the lamp right next to Chris’s side of the bed.  This did not sit well with Chris, as he was stung by a bee as a child when he crawled into bed and the little bugger was waiting for him under the covers. 

You may or may not know this, but I don’t particularly like killing insects.  Mainly, because I feel so bad for them.  Who am I to take a life?  At any rate, this stinger had to go.  Since Chris has been battling them during the day, I decided to take this one after a failed swat caused it to start flying toward our heads.  After having a conference outside the closed bedroom door, I went in with some hornet/bee/wasp spray…

I’ll spare you the gory details.  Let’s just say, it was over quickly, and we were able to get into bed without fear.  Well, a little fear, but I was really too tired to care.

Hopefully, we will be able to take care of this little problem by calling the super and having him call the exterminator to come and check it out. Ha. Hahahahahahahaha!  Right.  Our super is MIA most of the time or has his elderly father-in -law doing the work the rest of the time. 

Guess Chris and I will be battling this out until the weather grows cold and they disappear.  Wish us luck!





I love animals. All animals. I even like insects. If I am able to, I will catch a fly in midair with a couple of cups and release it back into the big wide world (true story – this happened in Vegas). I like being able to recognize different species of birds (I LOVE birds), and generally knowing the difference between two animals that look alike.

This leads me into the post regarding my minor freak-out this past Saturday and a visual mini-class on “Knowing the Difference Between a Rat and an Opossum”.

This is a rat:


Photo from

This is an opossum:


Photo from

Yes, I will admit that they look the same, but to me the opossum has pointier ears, a longer snout, and scragglier fur. I was fooled briefly as I watched an opossum walk along the sidewalk in Chicago. A tall gentleman was standing nearby and remarked how big that “rat” was. Chris and I mentioned politely that it was an opossum (we, of course, used the slang term – ‘possum). He said it was a rat. We said it was a ‘possum. He then told us that they eat them down south. Okay – time to go.

Now, I had no way to save this frightened little creature, and it was just eating me up inside. Many scenarios were racing through my head, and I could feel that I was tensing up as we walked away. I then heard another person call it a rat, and as I pulled my hat over my eyes, I mumbled, “It’s not a rat, it’s (here is where I scream loudly) A ‘POSSUM!!!!“. Yes, out loud. I then increased my pace to get back to the apartment before I lost my mind. On the way, we passed a family where the father was helping his little boy pee on the wall. What? How in the world is that okay?

I think I’ll blame all the agitation on the fact that I had just run for 30 minutes in 80 degree weather having only eaten a bananna, and was at that time food deprived and cranky.

Happily, though, the rest of the day went wonderfully well. We went to Evanston where they were having an Art Fair along the lake. We looked at some nice art and listened to some nice music, and walked along the lovely, quiet streets. No Rat-’Possums; no wall peeing.

Sigh – only 10 more months until we can move there! :)

Spider Candy

Spider Candy

Well…this is actually two different posts, but it made for a good title.

Meet Spidey – the big ol’ spider that lives outside our window. One day, it was outside the bedroom window, but last night it moved to the living room window. If I had a better camera, this would have been one kick-ass picture, let me tell you. Since I don’t (yet), you’ll just have to imagine that you can see all the hairs on Spidey’s legs, like I could. Quite fascinating, really.


Now, this – this is a jar of candy. “Big deal”, you say (I can hear you). It IS a big deal. If you know me, it is a colossal deal. My whole life, I have had access to a plethora of snacks. I would go to the store and not buy one candy bar for the night, but three candy bars, a bag of chips, a little bag of cookies and a Little Debbie Snack Cake (or two). Plus a Coke. Always a Coke. Why? I did it because I didn’t know exactly what I would want two hours later. This way, I would have plenty of choices. I was a slave to my cravings. This had gone on for years. No more. This past weekend, I decided to purge my snack cupboards. Whatever didn’t fit into this jar was tossed.

Candy jar.jpg
I don’t even know how I’m surviving right now, but I seem to be okay. I kind of like seeing exactly what I have.

This doesn’t mean that I can’t buy an additional snack or two, but at the end of the night, there shouldn’t be anything left over that doesn’t fit into that jar.

Except, of course, unless I decide to bake something.

I think it’s time to make some cookies.