Monday, October 13, 2008

two things

1. Yesterday, I made the best pie ever. The crust was flakier than ever before, the razzleberry filling was perfection.

I must own my feelings about my pies: Every time I make pie, I am certain that it is the best pie ever with the flakiest crust and filling of perfection.

Just so you know, the drummer is a pie lover. It is the one thing I make that he requests, but only when I mention it because he believes in getting by on what you have and never asking for anything. (It can be hard to parent a kid like that--did I get him what he needed? should I have done more? you understand, right?)

He told me one time that he thought he loved pie, but then he tried pie at a restaurant and realized that he only loved MY pie. (Yes kids, that was when he improved his chances to be the favorite.)

Yesterday, I told him I was thinking about making pie. His eyes opened wider than usual, his eyebrows raised, he got the big happy face, and he may have been tapping his fingers on the desk while he sang--yoooooooouuu light up my life, I think it was--maybe. or maybe I dreamed that part.

A few minutes later, when I told him I didn't think I could make pie after all because I had no Crisco, his response was an immediate, deep-voiced "WHAAAAAAT?" I told him I'd make the pie if he'd go pick up some Crisco. He did. I did. We all won.

2. Yellow jacket update. Turns out that yellow jackets are not all that great at pollinating. They don't have the hairy legs that bees have. Other interesting facts are that one queen can product 2000 offspring in her hive in one summer. And when the hive is thriving, some of the offspring become additional queens that add more kids to the hive. One other fact is that when the weather turns cold, all but the queens die. The ladies leave the dead hive to overwinter and begin the cycle again in new nests that they create.

If there is such a thing as good news when talking about a yellow jacket infestation between the bricks and the walls of my house, it must be that the entire hive, except the queens, dies when the weather turns cold, and it definitely turned cold in the past few days. Regular-sized yellow jacket sightings in the house decreased, and several of us swatters noticed and swatted half a dozen larger-sized yellow jackets, which may have been the new queens out searching for an overwintering place. According to our yellow jacket research, hives are rarely reused.

The not-so-good news is that we still have no idea where the nest was, inside of our wall, and we really have no idea if all of the queens evacuated to overwintering sites outside of our house or if we swatted all of them while they were still inside our house.

I suppose these are additional reasons to enjoy autumn and hope for a long winter before spring arrives with possibly more than its usual surprises in the gardens.

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