Monthly Archives: May 2011

Name Your Pest…Then Throw A Party In Its Honor

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Two amorous specimens on the side of my house the other day…

For the past couple of weeks, I, along with the rest of my fellow Central Floridians, have been living with our yearly visitors—Love Bugs. They are so named because they stay…er…”coupled” for days at a time. They even fly around that way, walk around that way, and if you see a single one flying or walking around, it’s likely because he just hatched, or maybe he’s just doomed, like a lot of people, to be unlucky in love.

Love Bugs are more or less harmless, and kinda cute. That is, unless they are in a large swarm around your car on the interstate—literally to the point that they obscure vision and make driving dangerous. That happens quite a bit here in Florida, because the little critters are also attracted to car exhaust so they swarm around the major highways and byways. In droves, they tend to last about 3 weeks, then they mysteriously disappear. Although sometimes they do come back for round two sometime during the summer…

As you can see, the little darlings can make quite a mess…oh, and here’s a tip: if you don’t wash them off right away, their tiny corpses will eat your paint right off!

When I was growing up, I lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our pest was the infamous Kudzu. This vine like plant was introduced from its native Asia, into the southeastern U.S. to be used as ground cover. HA! The joke was on us, because it proceeded to cover the ground—everywhere, and take over small cities, such as Chattanooga.

See what I mean?

We’re a hearty lot, however, with twisted, bawdy senses of humor for the most part, so Chattanoogans celebrated this pesty plant each year with the annual Kudzu Ball, held on the same night that Chattanooga’s social elite hold the Cotton Ball. It was a chance to display that tenacity that keeps all Southerners going through the best of times, and the worst of times…”If you can’t beat ‘em, make a party theme around them.” Oh, and the opportunity to mock our snooty “betters” is just a bonus…

Since I moved away from Chattanooga in my 20’s, I have lived all over…I mean ALL over. And you know what I noticed? Each region of the country, each city and townlet usually has some sort of unique pest to call their own.

For example, in Central and Northern California, you often get smelly and slimy, not to mention loud sea lion invasions….

Southern Oregon, specifically Klamath Falls, has these little guys—neon green Midges, which swarm around during the warmer months, much like our Love Bugs…

Wherever you live, you probably have your own special pest. It annoys you to no end when you live there, but you know what? If you really think hard about it, it (whatever it is) adds character to an area and you sorta miss it when you move away.

Wonder what my current neighbors would think of organizing a Love Bug Ball? Maybe with a Valentine’s Day tie in…hmmm….

“M” is for the Million Things They Gave Me…

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Mother’s Day is…

Homemade, Heartfelt Cards, Adorably Misspelled…

Kids Who Love to Make Mom Laugh…”Look! Mom! I’m Santa Claus!

Camp Crafts, Made Just for Me…

Tissue Paper Self Portraits…

Spending the Reading Points They Earned at the Library on a Bobble Head Doggie for Mom Instead of Something for Themselves…

“Real” Birthstone Christmas Earrings from My Firstborn That I’ve Carried Around Longer Than Anything Else I Own…

Boys Who Would Never Think of Coming Home From a Day at the Beach Without Pocketfuls of Treasures For Me…

Eerily Accurate Impromptu Impersonations of Mom…

Grandchildren!!!

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body”.  ~Elizabeth Stone

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

I’ll Trade You 10 Reality Shows for Just One Great Old Fashioned Mini-Series

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As an entertainment genre, I really miss the mini-series! This week, I’ve been re-reading The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough on my Kindle, and when I picture the characters interacting according to the words I see on the screen, I see Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, and Richard Chamberlain. Back then, when the mini-series The Thorn Birds aired, just about everyone I knew was riveted for a week and couldn’t wait until the following evening to see what was going to happen…even though we already knew ‘cause we’d read the book.

And, during the heyday of the mini-series, none of us knew Richard Chamberlain was actually gay in real life, so it was easy to believe his portrayal of an ambitious, committed priest who simply couldn’t control himself because he loved Meggie so much. Richard finally came out a few years ago and good for him I guess, but I still choose to suspend my disbelief regarding the heat between him and Meggie…oh that beach scene when he finally went to her…wow! It helps that the Thorn Birds was cast with such amazing actors and will, to me anyway, forever be the epitome of the classic, spellbinding American television mini-series.

My favorite romantic beach scene EVER!

Entertainment seems to go in cycles and come in waves. The mini-series dominated during the mid 70’s-mid 80’s, along with nighttime soaps like Dallas and Knots Landing, comedies like Friends ruled the 90’s, and reality television (yuck) got a grip on us in the late 90’s and hasn’t let go yet. I guess we television viewers are easily bored and get tired of a particular medium, which is probably what happened to the mini-series. Here’s hoping it comes back…Certainly, bestselling books are made into movies still, so it’s not much of a stretch. Lots of them are ending up on the big screen these days, so in reverence to our still bad economy, I think Hollywood should slash those budgets, hire some unknowns and maybe one big has been star, get those cameras rolling and stretch it out over a few nights. People still have water coolers at work, and I can promise you they’ll all stand around them talking about what happened last night and what’s going to happen tonight, just like they did in the 70’s and 80’s.

In addition to my beloved Thorn Birds, here are a few other infamous mini-series’ you may have forgotten…

Roots, of course! This one was epic, and encouraged important dialogue, around the water cooler, and everywhere else in the 70’s regarding a shameful part of our nation’s history…

The one that supposedly started it all…Rich Man, Poor Man


East of Eden-WOW! I’ll never forget the tag line, “And she took them ALL, somewhere East of Eden…” Jayne Seymour was brilliant!!!

North and South…a favorite of all us Southerners! The late Patrick Swayze at his best, and before he ever danced with Baby or made sexy pottery with Demi…

Lace, with the wonderful Phoebe Cates, who uttered the best mini-series line ever–“Incidentally, which one of you bitches is my mother?” Ahhh, those were the days when saying bitch on t.v. was a very big deal….

Yes, these are all a part of television history…I don’t know about you, but t.v. seems to be getting a little stale these days. People are ready for a change–something new. Well, at least something new to them anyway. I’m tired of seeing people eat bugs on t.v., dance, sing and model, try to find the love of their life–cattle auction style, and watching obnoxious middle aged women who’ve had one too many boob jobs have cat fights and pull each other’s hair. Here’s hoping the Great American Mini-Series can make a comeback…I’ll be watching!