Archive for the ‘Creepy things’ Category

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Oh Cotton…you are not safe

August 21, 2007

Nope, not safe at all…

Every few months I go through my yarn stash and misc knit/crocheted projects and make sure it is safe from bugs.

So far I have been good at not finding much traces of moth type infestations, though I did find a moth in some roving it didn’t do any damage and I froze the roving and then spun it and haven’t had any breakouts.

I did find carpet beetles and they weren’t in my wool. In fact, they weren’t really in my yarn balls at all. Instead, I found them in a knit sweater that I never pieced together. It was made of cotton-ease (50% cotton 50% acrylic.) There were just a couple of them and I killed them. I never pieced the sweater because it was a baby sweater I knit when I was learning and I did my increases and decreases wrong so I have holes along the neckline.

Since it is a baby sweater and I no longer have a baby, I see no reason to finish it. I set it aside until I knew what to do with it. No I might just trash it just in case there are eggs or something in the yarn which I can’t see.

I knew a few days ago I had them because I saw a carpet beetle on the wall by my clock above my yarn desk. Going through my stash gives me the opportunity to clean up my work area, organize it, and destash what I no longer want.

So far, my wool is safe. Surprisingly, the cotton may not be. I still need to go through my cotton-ease stash. I am afraid.

I think of all of the bugs that like textiles, carpet beetles are probably the mildest. Even the sweater that had the bug on it showed no damage.

I have a feeling that the carpet beetles are in my llama fur which was given to me. They are in paper bags under the desk and while I looked in there and did not see anything, it is some big bags of fur. While tree/plant nectar is the #1 food source for the beetles, the larvae love animal fur and I have read are a common pest of museums. So, I am going to relocate my llama fur to another part of the house and store them in a rubber made container.

Sorry, Deneen, I know this post will disturb you. Had to share, though. I am finally back to blogging.

eta:  I did go through all my cotton-ease and found another carpet beetle in there.  I find it so odd that out of all my yarn that the carpet beetles are in the cotton/acrylic mix, not the wool, not the mohair, not any of my roving.  No damage was done, either.

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Garden Stories

June 1, 2007

Since I have nothing fiber related to talk about, I will tell two stories about my garden. You get pictures, too!

This morning, I asked Tony if he had gone out to the garden to see if we had more zucchini. Last week a lot of my zucchini ripened at the same time I had picked them, cooked them for dinner, and baked them into zucchini bread. Zucchini = Fun!

Growing zucchini has been such an instant gratification for me and the kids. It grows really fast, is fun to pick and you can cook it with practically anything.

Okay, back to my story…

Tony told me there was only a little zucchini in the garden and it wasn’t read to be picked yet. I went out there to look at it and he showed it to me. It did need another day. However, when I looked a bit futher, towards the ground way under everything, I found the GIANT!

Only a picture can describe the size of this zucchini and I laugh at the fact that my husband didn’t see it.

To my husband’s credit, you can see how big the zucchini plants are and how it would be difficult to find zucchini way in the back.

(from right to left…Lavender (notice it is starting to bloom), tomatoes, zucchini.

Don’t ask me why we bothered with the tomato cages. The tomato plants are huge and they have outgrown any type of cage. If they get too heavy I will use yarn and tie the branches up to the cage or the fence.

I love how beautiful my garden has gotten. I think I planned it out pretty well. I did have to move the bell peppers a few weeks ago. They are doing well.

On the other side of the zucchini are the carrots, which get just enough light but are hidden by the big leaves of the zucchini plant. I think this creates just enough shade so the carrots don’t dry out. Then there is the bell peppers, corn, and sunflowers (the gopher didn’t get all of them and those remaining are really turning into giants!)

I understand why they call it a bell pepper:

So this leaves me with my other story…

The other night as I was watering my garden (yes, I water my garden at night, every other day) I started to think that there might possibly be spiders crawling around at night. That evening when the sun was going down I had my camera out taking pictures of my stash (its a ravelry thing) and saw a blue jay outside.

I thought it was a great opportunity to add the blue jay to the other photos of the Central Valley wildlife album I have on Flickr. I didn’t have my large lens on, so while I got a nice shot, it was farther away then I wanted to be. When I got closer the bird flew away.

I decided it would be a good time to get some photos of my garden. As I went to get a picture of my tomato, that is just starting to turn red, I noticed all of the webs. Spiders!

I think they are garden spiders.

So I took lots of cool pictures of the spiders. (I will make these links so you don’t get freaked out.)

I had to go in the house and get my larger lens and it took awhile to be able to focus on something so tiny, but I did. I started to get a headache from closing my left eye, which I know not to do, but I do it anyways.

I even got an action shot of one killing its prey.
Garden Spider killing Prey

I then walked over to the swingset and there were so many spiders I started to get dizzy and felt like spiders were crawling all over me. If you want to see the pictures, the set is here.
Garden Spider
Garden Spider

If you want to see more, go to my flickr album.

This is weird…I went over to a friends house the other day and for the small time that I was there she killed a male blackwidow walking on her sidewalk.

Oh…and…when I picked the giant zucchini today it came with a baby black widow. The funny thing is that Tony and I aren’t even alarmed by it. We just squished it with a paper towel on the kitchen counter. Can you believe I had carried the zucchini with the spider on it and didn’t even realize it? Sigh…

Parenting Stuff:
I came up with a catchy way of teaching Sierra the difference between the letter b and d.

“b is bad”

You see, the letter “a” and the letter “d” face the same direction, but since “b” is bad it is flipped.

I hope this helps her remember. Usually she does good, but sometimes she gets confused.

My sister inlaw recently gifted me with two magazines.  The first one is called WonderTime it is a parenting magazine and is pretty interesting.  I rarely read parenting magazines, but this one was full of fun/cool activities for little kids.  She told me she bought the magazines as part of these frequent flier miles she had.  She also bought me a crochet magazine.  I haven’t got it yet, so will be curious to see what she picked out.

And, because sometimes I end up with weird science projects growing in my cupboards/refrigerator…

Trust me…you will NOT see this in any parent magazines:

It is a sweet potato growing frog ears.  There is always something fun (and bizarre) happening at my house, ha ha…

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Another widow

April 10, 2007

Today I was outside watering the garden and took the opportunity to spray down the kid’s swingset and the back patio. I decided to flip over the picnic table and wouldn’t you know….a black widow was under there…a big one.

I won’t tell you how many times my kids have eaten at the table, sat at the table, played near the table, etc. I know that black widows are nocturnal and stay pretty well hidden during the day, but…you know how kids are, putting their fingers in places they shouldn’t.

Tomorrow Tony is going to have to spray the backyard with spider killer.

Seriously…this black widow thing is becoming an issue for me.

I grew up in the valley here and while I knew we had black widows, I rarely encountered them. My dad would find them in the garage and the wood pile, but they weren’t hiding on our toys or in the flower beds. Or…not that I thought. Closeup:

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Black Widow

March 24, 2007

Tonight when my husband came home from work I asked him to water our plant out front.  I was outside with him and as he was bent down by the pot, I noticed there was a black widow spider about 8 inches from his hand.

Because of his location we weren’t sure how to kill him without him dropping into the hole of the cinder block.   Then we remembered last summer when we killed the 30 some odd black widows in the back yard that we bought spider killer.

Tony sprayed him and then he slowly tried to escape and then was stepped on.  Tony sprayed the rest of our front walkway and found an even larger black widow, which escaped under the siding of the house, though it did get sprayed first.

Here are some nice black widow pictures for you:

I guess it is the season…..to think I was going to weed that section of the yard soon.  I guess I will wait a few days…