This tiny little bug is commonly known as a junk bug or aphid lion – ain’t she cute? Teddy was admiring our fire bush when he saw this wee pile of debris moving. If you click on the red link to junk bug you can read a hilarious article about this ‘voracious predator’ – it is about the size of the half-moon on your pinkie. She is a gardener’s friend; the debris on her back is the remains of aphids and other plant eaters (her victims…). This little dusty bundle is her larval stage and she blossoms into one of my favorite insects, the delicate green lacewing.
Henrik Mackevicius, Pixabay
Teddy and I get so excited when we discover a new animal in the garden no matter how small. Below is Leo (DiCaprio), one of our many spotted Anoles. He loves to sit at the prow of the deck and display his bright red throat flap to attract a mate. There is so much lizard sex going on in our back yard that we should rename it Studio 54. There are tiny babies, pregnant moms and horny teenagers (none of them are social distancing).
A few weeks ago I found what looked like bird poop in the garage and I was curious. It was unlikely that a bird had gotten into the garage which is usually closed and then I saw another poop on the front porch.
The black section is full insect bits and the white part is uric acid (pee)
As I was taking in the groceries, through the garage, this week I spotted a small cockroach struggling in a spider web. Briefly, I wondered whether I should put it out of its misery but when I went back for the rest of the groceries the roach had gone. Then I spotted her – we have a five striped Skink living in the wall of the garage. Woo hoo! She is now called Skinky because I have no imagination. They eat cockroaches – what more do you need? My neighbor has one on her front porch and after I told her how useful they are in our bug ridden swamp, she named her Skink, Tiger.
Jan Haerer, Pixabay
Can you tell that the pandemic quarantine is beginning to wear on us? My psychiatrist forgot to put in my regular refill for Xanax, WTF! I panicked briefly then I put my big girl pants on and am back in a Breaking Bad situation with a drawer full of meds. My friend was laughing at Teddy and me when I shared with her that I refused to share my prescription-only painkillers with him. She felt that it was a perfect senior couple moment – she’s right!
…since the Pandemic started. We moved into our ‘new’ house 16 years ago when we moved to Texas from Cairo. One of the reasons was that it was a 5 minute walk from our house to a local steakhouse and bar. We don’t go that often as it is expensive but it is a lovely treat at happy hour. Now you have to make reservations and observe restaurant social distancing. It was a tad weird to see our usual servers in masks and gloves but lovely at the same time. They welcomed us like old friends. We both had to sit at the same side of the booth to be the requisite distance from the next booth which was very romantic.
It’s a fancy place but not pretentious and we dressed up. Teddy has lost so much weight that his Tommy Bahama’s good shirt could have fitted both of us in it – time for the charity box. I can fit into my old skinny clothes and I am wearing my favorite cream Max Studio dress worn with an ‘antique’ brown velvet jacket from Bandera, Texas. I am pretty sure the previous owner has passed on but I love to think of the events she may have worn it to. At the restaurant I ate my steak like a ravenous wolf and devoured the whipped potatoes. Then we had a bottle of wine AND DESSERT. It was all gluten free – just like my life now.
Like many of us, I have spent quite some time on introspective thought. My mental health has been good given the circumstances and I realize that I enjoy social isolation (and the calm that comes with that). Rather sadly, I went into the airport and handed back my badge and keys. I have been volunteering for 11 years or so and it was the strangest sensation to see how quiet everything was. The volunteering program has been suspended temporarily but I had already decided before the pandemic that it was time for me to do something new. I doubt I will have any VIP work for the next year but that might pick up in the future. It is a special birthday for me in July when I turn 60 – WHAT!!!! We had vague plans of a short trip somewhere but who knows. We could spend the rest of our lives just exploring Texas…
Is anyone else totally fed up with the Pandemic euphemisms? These Challenging times, Unusual circumstances or The New Normal. It’s a bloody Pandemic – just call it what it is. The best new word I came across is Covidiot which means someone who doesn’t follow Pandemic Protocol. On that note I was scolded at two separate grocery stores. ME – compliant citizen exemplified! The first time I waited patiently in the line to go in a smaller store, wore my mask and kept my distance. At the checkout I stood behind the plexiglass but wasn’t standing in the taped yellow box. The older gentleman, checking my groceries out, asked me to move back, and I apologized profusely. I was mortified. Today, I went through the 15 items only checkout at another store. I guess I had about 20 items which has never been a problem in the past. This time I had to pay for the first 15 items, and then the extra items separately. This time I almost blushed. I sheepishly left the store reminding myself to count the items next time.
Some very classy citizens have been behaving very badly during these ‘challenging times’ and I don’t want to be part of that mob. One mother created a ruckus at Red Lobster (a seafood chain of restaurants) because she had to wait. I guess nobody knew she was Mother of the Year?? It doesn’t sit well when so many of our population are food hungry right now. Thank you once again to all the essential workers who have worked so hard to keep us safe. The least we could do is to make their jobs easier.
Happy Memorial Day – E Pluribus Unum.
Finally, our masks arrived from China! I made Teddy dress up for the photograph – you may as well rock social distancing! I put on eye makeup for the first time in months and had to take it off as soon as the photo was taken… As I look at celebrity and other videos, I wonder if we will be less vain when the Pandemic is over?
I noticed a change at the store today – there was hand sanitizer and toilet tissue and paper towels!! My gluten free shelf was all stocked up and I breathed a sigh of relief. As soon as I did, waves of guilt washed over me for all the people who have no food. I read Reuters World news to keep a real perspective of Covid-19’s effect on the world.
On a happier note, I saw Mama and Papa Bluebird on their nesting box today, along with a large but young Great Heron and a family who had adopted a rescue dog during the lock-down. Bravo to them!
Keep safe, keep well and thank you to all our essential workers.