Christmas thoughts at 2:30am

It’s 2:30am Christmas day. I woke up about an hour ago to the whiny cry of my 19 month old. Not whiny in a bad way, but a sleepy whiny that let me know that he was probably wet. I got up and went to check on him. He was a poopy mess. I think he has a touch of the “bug” that’s been going around. But he’s now back in bed sleeping. Clean and filled up with a refreshing drink of gatorade, to stay hydrated. I did some laundry and disinfected some things and now I’m taking probably the one chance I have today to blog a little bit.
Christmas has been so fun this year with a toddler. He has learned how to open presents. He has been so sweet when I remind him to say “thank you” to the giver. I think this is so important. Many people may think he’s too young to get on about this but I know that he’s not. Especially after seeing him do the sign for “thankyou” – it looks almost like he’s blowing them a kiss. Sometimes though, he says it pretty clearly too. It warms my heart. I am trying to instill gratitude and thankfulness in him. There are so many unkind and ungrateful people in this world, that it matters to teach him right.
Merry Christmas everyone! And remember to be thankful for the gifts you receive. I am thankful. But most of all, I’m thankful for Jesus Christ, as He is the first Christmas gift ever given. He came as a baby, lived a perfect life, and died on a cross to pay the debt for our sins. Thank you Jesus, I love you!

Here’s a song my family used to sing when I was growing up:

He’s the reason for the season, for the trimmings and the tree
May this Christmas time remind you that he came to give it all
He’s the reason for the season, He’s the purpose of it all
May this Christmas time remind you that He came…to set men free!

What did you step on???

Me and my husband had did a little investigation last night.  What prompted this rambunctious research, you might ask?  Here’s the background story:  About a month, or two, ago, my hubby was walking through the house one evening.  I called him into the other room, and on the way in he stepped on something.  He asked me to look at his foot cause he thought he stepped on glass at first.  He had a reddish spot and said it was really sore almost like it was burning.  When he went back to see what he stepped on, he found that he had actually stepped on a bug.
I had seen these bugs around the house before and killed quite a few of them.  I wasn’t sure what they were though.  One time (small side story here) I killed one of these bugs with thermal paper (a gas receipt or something), and the smashed bug “goop” instantly had some kind of reaction with the thermal paper, turning it black!
So anyhow, our curiosity was peaked, to say the least.  It was some kind of beetle, so I did a search on beetles in Kentucky.  I found some great articles with pictures and was able to quickly identify which beetle it was.  Here is a picture:1I also read about the larva which like to eat dead wood (which explains why we have them around the house).  I have seen these little guys in the flower beds and just never knew what they were.  They are slow moving and good prey for quicker things like centipedes. Gross looking though…sorry for that.2132096So, here’s where the story gets good! The original article I read didn’t say anything about fire colored beetles having any kind of defense mechanism.  It actually said that not much is known about the adult stage of this beetle.  So, I dug a little more.  And I found this picture of another beetle called the Blister Beetle.  The orange variety looked similar to the fire colored beetle but was definitely not what he stepped on.  So, I read about the blister beetle and found this interesting data.  They produce and carry a poisonous substance called “Cantharidin”.  It is similar to strychnine and arsenic in toxicity!!!  The interesting fact I found, however was that certain insects (FIRE COLORED BEETLES INCLUDED) will eat dead or alive blister beetles to obtain the protective qualities from the toxin. They are immune and remain unharmed.

Externally, cantharidin can cause severe skin inflammation and blisters.  This explains what happened to hubbys foot!  If toxin is somehow ingested (for instance, in animals) it could be much worse:

Cantharidin is absorbed through the intestine and can cause symptoms such as inflammation, colic, straining, elevated temperature, depression, increased heart rate and respiration, dehydration, sweating, and diarrhea. There is frequent urination during the first 24 hours after ingestion, accompanied by inflammation of the urinary tract. This irritation may also result in secondary infection and bleeding.  Taken internally, as little as 10 milligrams can be fatal in humans.

I found a lot of bulletins teaching farmers about blister beetles and what to look for because they can turn up sometimes, in alfalfa hay.  Even if the beetles are dead the chemical is very stable and toxic and therefore can harm livestock, especially horses.

I was pretty excited to have found out the answer to our little mystery case.  I have read a lot in the past two days about this and below are a few more links if you are interested.  One is a link to the blister beetle page.  Thanks for reading!  Has anyone here ever seen these beetles in their homes or gardens?  Would love to hear some stories!

More links:

Economics 101

I’m currently reading the book “How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes” by Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff.  These two brothers had a father who taught them about economics in the form of stories, when they were small.  It was easy for them to comprehend and they were able to learn much from their father.
For someone like me, who has never had any kind of real understanding of economics, and has thought it was interesting but much to confusing or large of a subject to grasp, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!  I started it yesterday and am almost halfway through it.  It is easy reading and the concepts of economics are made simple.  It is filled with little pictures all the way through and is really a fun read. 

This book may be for you if you’ve ever wondered:

  • Why governments can spend without ever seeming to run out of money?
  • Why some countries are rich while others are poor?
  • Whether spending or saving is the best cure for a bad economy?
  • Where inflation comes from?

(The above were taken from the back of the book)

Anyhow, I’m learning so much from this book and it’s such a quick
read that it’s definitely worth it.  I hope some of you decide to read
it to. 

Anyone have any other books they would recommend on this subject for a beginner who just wants more understanding?

Please click HERE for a fun trailer of the book. It’s only a minute long.

“We really are watching the clock Governor….”

Wow! The second presidential debate was pretty intense.  This video shows how Candy Crowley “reigned” in the two candidates.  I find it funny that most of the clips are really her reigning in Governor Romney.  Coincidental? I think not.  I also chuckle when watching this clip because the president acts like a little first grader, running to Candy every chance he gets.  “Candy…Candy….”  It reminded me of “Teacher…Teacher…Help me! Make him stop!”

Anyhow, one of the reasons I am posting this is because I was talking with a friend a couple days ago and asked her if she’d been watching the debate.  She said yeah, and then proceeded to tell me how a lot of her coworkers were saying how rude Romney was.  I was inwardly appalled because I never got that impression.  Yes at times, they were more aggressive in this debate.  But, to me it seemed like Romney was fighting just to get his equal time (which by the way did not happen – Obama got more time: Read this for more info on WHY).  But, that same evening that I spoke with my friend, I heard clips from the media in regards to how the second debate had gone.  The clips were media all talking about how rude they thought Romney had been in telling the President : “Mr President, I’m still speaking” when the President was trying to interrupt.  This just shows me that there are so many people out there who have no idea how biased and skewed mainstream media is today.  This media is trying so hard to influence this election in the direction of Obama.  I really think it is sad that people don’t know that there are accurate sources of information out there and they can instantly have the truth at their fingertips.

Anyhow, back to the debate.  My favorite part of the debate was the last question, I believe.  The one that asked for something about who the candidate is.  Mitt Romney’s answer was a splash of cold water.  Honest and refreshing.  This is someone who will be a true leader in the troubled times that lay ahead of us as a country.

Moving On

Ugh! I feel awful…I’ve been avoiding my blog because I fell behind in my own, self-induced challenge.  I have enjoyed my challenge but I started to get behind.  I made it just beyond the halfway point when a family member (who will remain nameless) pointed out that they liked my writing before I did my challenge better.  I countered that this “challenge” was just a way to get me writing and posting every day (which obviously didn’t last as I had planned).  Yet, they still insinuated that they liked the “before” posts better.  So, here I am, calling off the challenge, not just because of what that person told me, but because I realized that I am not going to stop writing.  I will continue to write whether I have a challenge or not.  When I started this blog, I was a bit afraid or intimidated at first and had trouble coming up with things I really wanted to share (not write but share). So, I created the 30 Day Blog Challenge as a way to get me writing.  But listen Blog Challenge….”I don’t Need You Anymore!!!!  I’ve Found My Way!!!”

So, really that’s all I have to share about that topic.   Oh, I do want to let you all know that I’ve crossed off an item on my adventure club / bucket list.  It was Zip-Lining!  I went with my dad and sister and it was amazing!!! I’m hoping to post a couple pictures in my next post of the beautiful views we got so be on the lookout for that.

Have a Super-Duper, wonderful evening everyone!

Day 13: Fall Frenzy

This week has brought some cooler weather in.  The nights and mornings are fresh.  I know that colder weather will be here soon.  Part of me is sad that summer is over and there were so many things I didn’t do that I wanted to do.  The other part of me is excited at the new things that are “in the air” so to speak.  It’s always invigorating to have the seasons change.  I’m grateful to live in an area that has four seasons a year.  I’m the kind of person who needs change somewhat often.  I get tired of things quickly.  I need new inspiration often.  So, for me the changing of the seasons is refreshing.  I love the old one but am almost always ready for the next and what it holds.

Every fall, I have some rituals.  Not many, but I always pull out a certain James Taylor Best Hits cd and listen to it often.  It just seems to go with the season.  I also go to a local festival they have in town.  It is a BIG deal in our county and I have gone since I was a child.  Um, lets see, I love making soup when it gets colder out! Actually, soup is one of my most favorite culinary items to make.  The soup I like to make and eat the most is a simple potato soup with carrots and celery.  Following that, I enjoy vegetable or minestrone soup.  I also like pie.  I don’t eat a lot of it but fall is always a good season for pumpkin pie.  Yum Yum!

What about you? What does fall’s fresh air do to you?