Life in progress


A Great Gregarious Gift

I knew the regular meaning of the word gregarious–outgoing, social–but I thought I’d look it up to see if there was anything else. And wouldn’t you know it, there was another definition to be found! From Merriam-Webster online:

a: of a plant growing in a cluster or a colony
bliving in contiguous nests but not forming a true colony used especially of wasps and bees
“b” is the sort of great gift I often find in the hedge at the front of my house. My best friend, John, has been stung after finding such a gregarious gift.
Hey, does that bow look suspiciously like insect wings? I wouldn’t open it if I were you! Might be a gargantuan wasp!

Thanks so much to the three ladies who gave me today’s “G” words. You’ll find their links under the words “gregarious,” “great,” and “gift.”

Care to give me some “H” words for tomorrow’s “absolutely-not-the-A-Z-Challenge-because-I-didn’t-sign-up-for-it-and-doing-it-anyway-would-be-wrong” post? One word per person in the comments, and keep ’em clean.



Wasp Invasion!

I’ve had all kinds of bugs in my house: when I moved in we had pantry moths; it took two years to get rid of those. We’ve had flies, fruit flies … we even had a spate of lady bugs one year. Since spring this year, I’ve had an overabundance of snails slowly making their way around the front outside wall of my house. And now, this …

Two mornings ago I was in my kitchen, chatting with my son, when he pointed to the floor and said, is that a dead wasp? It was. They were. About two dozen of them, some still alive and walking around stupidly, but most were dead. They were all around my kitchen table, in the windows and on the table.

Yesterday morning I only found two, both dead.

This morning, I found out at least what was killing them. When I came downstairs to prepare Alex’s feeding pump at 5:30, I turned the light on. By the time I went back upstairs, there were a couple of wasps flying around the kitchen light over the table. I left it on, as I do, and went back upstairs only to realize I’d forgotten my phone. When I came back down, there were about half a dozen wasps, all flying around the unshaded incandescent bulb.

I deduced that the heat from the lightbulb is killing them. When I finally investigated, after Alex had gone to school–if I tell him about it, he’ll never sit at the table again–I found about a dozen, this time as many alive (but stupid) as dead. Problem is, I have no idea where they’re coming from.

So I’m guessing my best bet is to leave the light on, and hope they die when it gets cold outside. Because I ain’t hanging around in my kitchen to see where they’re crawling in while they’re alive and active.

Or maybe I’ll just go live outside with the snails.



The piece of wood it’s sitting on is an inch thick…



Unfortunately my phone’s camera didn’t pick up the rainbow of colours in its wings. So big and yet so delicate.


A Tuna Built a Nest Under My Front Steps!

It’s true! A tuna has taken up residence under my front steps. What’s worse, there may be more than one!

Okay, by now you’re probably asking yourself what the hell I’m talking about. Let me tell you a story.

One fine evening when my eldest son was about a year old, my ex and I decided to go for a walk around the block, baby in carriage. It was spring, just like it is now, and the lilacs were blooming their fragrant heads off. The bumble bees were in heaven, and there were plenty of them. Their low pitched drones could be heard as they busily buzzed from blossom to blossom.

In the thick of it all, my ex decided that it might be the best idea for me to push the carriage. When I inquired why, he explained.

Now there are two things you need to know about my ex at this point. One, is that he is French. Quebecois. And two, that he is deathly afraid of bees.

His explanation for not wanting to push the carriage containing our child was as follows:

Because if I see a taon, I’m going to run.

Taon is the French word for horsefly, deer fly… but he meant bumble bee.

What I heard was thon, which is French for tuna.

Many minutes passed before I was able to get up off the ground from laughing so hard. When I could finally speak, with tears running down my face, I told him he could push the carriage because it didn’t matter – if I saw a tuna, I was going to run as well.

So there you have it. I have a tuna living under my steps. I won’t be telling my ex though – I won’t see him again until winter if I do.


My ex’s vision of a tuna


I mean, seriously

Who invented fruit flies? What are they good for except invading our kitchens and eating our fruit? Would they fill up the belly of a bird? No. And I refuse to let a bird into my kitchen to test the theory. How many tiny fruit fly bodies do I have to pick out of my wine? I get enough protein, thanks.

Every year it’s the same thing. You go into the grocery store and see them swarming around the onions and you think to yourself, the strawberries are far enough away from the onions that they shouldn’t have got into them, right?


And so every year my kitchen is either on the wing, or littered with fruit fly traps. The home made ones are the best. A jar with a small piece of banana peel inside and cling wrap over top with a tiny hole. They can get in, but they can’t find their way out.

They are still and always will be a bloody nuisance though!


My Quote of the Day

“Wine is good. Fruit flies are a nuisance.”