Tag Archives: spring

Phil, Protests & Winter Woes

Photo courtesy of Punxsutawney Phil’s Facebook page. Because, of course, he has a Facebook page.

For the past 133 years, the residents of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania have, without fail, every February 2nd, hauled out a chubby groundhog name Punxsutawney Phil to predict the end of winter. This year, right on schedule, here comes Phil, likely wearing his Pat Mahomes Kansas City Chief’s jersey, to check on the existence of his shadow and announce the prospects for spring. Since 1887, it’s really been a lot of fun and games … until the protestors get involved. Enter PETA.

PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. (It does not stand for People Eating Tasty Animals. That’s a completely different group that likely hosts outstanding barbecues for members.) PETA is the world’s largest animal rights group with gaboons of members who actually do good things to keep lipstick off pigs and monkeys out of labs. This year, though, they took notice of Phil and clamored to have him replaced by artificial intelligence – a rodent robot.

To be clear, it’s not okay to replace humans at McDonald’s with kiosk computers, but it’s okay to rob this defenseless creature of his identity as a beloved weather icon deserving of his own nationally recognized holiday and replace him with a machine. Maybe he can get a job at McDonald’s.

The PETA people argue that a robot would provide a more accurate prediction. This year as he was proudly held high above the cheering crowds, Phil did not see his shadow and proclaimed the arrival of an early spring. So, you know what, I’m Team Groundhog all the way! I honestly would rather have a nocturnal, burrowing woodchuck tell me those sweet lies that I want to hear over some National Weather Service computer droid explaining why the jet stream, global warming and the El Nino doom me to winter that will last until early May.

Sadly, no sooner had Phil prognosticated (that’s today’s word to Google!) hope of spring and driven off with Bill Murray but it started snowing. Everywhere. The Texas panhandle was at a standstill while even San Antonio froze their fajitas. The Midwest got buried and Michigan has officially been annexed into the Arctic Circle. Which, I’m not going to lie, makes me want to strangle Phil. Fortunately for him, my hands are too frozen to actually follow through with that.

Spring is March 19th for those keeping score.

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Filed under From the Snow Drift

Yes Honey, They’re Bees

bee-movie-meme-fbJust when you think it’s safe to go back into the house, they show up. Hundreds of them. And they’re all buzzing and flying and crawling, coming into my home while I stand by seemingly helpless and mildly horrified: BEES! A swarm just smaller than something conjured by a frightening Stephen King novel was invading my house, establishing their own independent colony, and usurping my authority over my own domain. What these little airborne bumble bodies didn’t know was that they’d picked the wrong house.

Okay, they weren’t exactly John Belushi dressed as a Bandito bee demanding all our pollen. Nor were they the Astro’s Biggio, Bagwell, and Berkman. For that matter, they likely weren’t even killer bees at all. They were relatively harmless European honey bees excited over spring in full bloom looking for a place to set up shop for their honey buzzness. It just couldn’t be in my house.

Armed with the power of Google, I called three bee removal companies, all of which said they’d come to my house and spray them dead for a “fair and reasonable price to be negotiated later.” Suddenly, I’m more horrified by the bee wranglers than the infestation. With the exception of their South American cousins with anger management issues who actually want to kill off any life form near their hives, bees are actually on the more loveable end of the insect spectrum (as opposed to say, cockroaches). No possible way did I want the bees murdered in cold honey!

I wanted these bees relocated to a nice field of clover more than two miles from where I now live. I wanted them to forget my address. Forget my house. Forget the belief that taking over my attic was like annexing Poland as a first step to total world domination. Because, let’s face it, my house is only big enough for one all-important, omnipotent queen bee, and I’m still wearing the crown in this hive. So they just needed to be moved on.

Fortunately, I found apiarists (guys in bee tamer suits) who came immediately to calmly and politely remove the buzzing interlopers to a new better-suited location. So at the end of the day, I’m happy. The bees will be happier. And my check cleared so the bee guys will be happiest of all.

(Thanks “Bee Movie” for the graphic)

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Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

Ants, Plants and a Bad Hair Day

antIts spring and I am at war. The battle rages on several fronts, all of them equally fierce and the outcomes are all questionable. Most unfortunately, I am quickly learning how ill-equipped and incompetent I am to face these nemeses. Yet, in the true spirit of the underdog, I push hopelessly forward.

My first enemy: the banana tree. Truly this menace is the herpes of the garden. There is no cure. Ever. During the Vietnam War, thousands of banana trees were torched by flame-throwers and napalm only to reappear fully grown two weeks later as if nothing had happened. Why would anyone plant one of these viruses? Kroger has bananas for 19 cents a pound all the time. You don’t need to grow your own, for heaven’s sake! Go to the store already! Still, I have sharpened the blade on the machete, purchased several industrial barrels of Round-Up, and put plans in place to salt the earth. Regardless, I know I will not win. 

What only intensifies the humiliation is listening to the fire ants laugh at my feeble attempts for domination. They, of course, are on my hit list. And their eradication is also my exercise in futility. I’ve tried pouring boiling water on their mounds. I’ve invested more than the national debt in worthless poisons. I’ve even tried shoveling heaps from one side of the yard onto another in the hopes that they’d just fight it out and kill each other off. Instead, they band together and plot to destroy my universe. Again, I know I will not win. 

As I do every spring when the humidity starts to rise, I fight the frizz with great futility. Anyone who dares say, “What nice curly hair you have” gets punched in the throat. Oh yes, that’s me out in the yard covered in ant bites, screaming obscenities at the newest banana scourge looking like blonde cotton candy has sprouted out of my head. I am, however, undaunted. I now have five different deep root conditioners and I’m NOT AFRAID TO USE THEM! Yes, I know I will not win this one either. But at least I will have soft, damage-free frizz.

The struggle is real. So if you need me, I’ll be in the bunker mapping out invasion strategies and waiting for the hot oil to repair my split ends.

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Filed under Much Ado About Nothing