Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The road to peace.....

Starts one step at a time.

The weekend brought many tidings. We found out why the little preemie died. See, it's not too bad being a preemie, there are things you can do to help them continue to develop and grow, just like with humans. Sometimes they are just too early, but she was only 2 days outside the general 'safe time' rule so we wondered what went wrong. She was doing well the first two hours, but then she crashed. Why? Was it the feeding I gave her? Did she aspirate? Was it my fault? Was it a genetic problem?

Well, the necropsy showed a rupture of the umbilical artery. It would have happened the minute she was born, and she just bled to death. Not my fault. Not genetic- just a product of being too early. Relief? Um, a double edged sword.... Yes, I am relieved I didn't cause her death,
it was tearing me apart wondering.
Each alpaca on our ranch is known, each loved for their own individual personalities, likes and dislikes. Every year we plan carefully each breeding, then we wait a minimum of 335 days to see the results of our planning. When we lose a cria, it is completely devastating. Whenever we have a loss we wonder what happened, and I always blame myself. It doesn't matter that in each case it wasn't anything we did wrong- when you are Rachelle, that's what you do, you blame yourself.
As I go through my life, I try to take something from every experience- no matter how horrible, scary or tragic. Something positive, or what has been more likely in my life, a hard lesson learned. What I haven't learned yet, no matter the trial or tribulation, is how to find peace. Today as I visited with my girl, she taught me how to forgive myself for not being perfect, omniscient and for not having the power to resurrect the dead. She told me she still loves me, and doesn't blame me. By her kisses, her warm breath on my cheek, and by nudging me with her hip so I would scratch her itchy spot.
I think the road to peace is a long one- the journey difficult, and paved with obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable. Today I am one step closer. Perhaps tomorrow I might take two steps back, but eventually- I will move forward again.
As our family spent the day together yesterday, I was reminded of how wonderful a happy day can be. It's been a long time, a very long time it seems since I had a truly happy day. Seems like such a simple thing! But as adults, we seem to complicate life to the point of absurdity.
We trivialize that which we should cherish, and insist on growing up too fast.
Laughing, sharing, making stupid jokes.... my baby brother brought me a copy of "Sesame Street Old School" and I watched, laughing and remembering taking Jamey into the spare room to watch Sesame Street while our parents argued, again. Stealing a moment of joy midst chaos.
Yesterday I let the child within out. The one who was forced to be grown up when she was eight years old, not allowed to laugh or be ridiculous. Who blamed herself for things entirely beyond her control and tried to 'fix' everything, please everyone. Now releasing her to play, laugh and be silly- without inhibitions. It was wonderful.

Jamey and my favorite chicken- Henny Penny

Left to right, front: My stepmother Karen, brother Jamey, and my dad.

Back: Daughter Codi, Jamey's girlfriend Giselle, son Cameron.

I think the fastest way to peace is through the eyes of a child. What do you think?


Sunday, May 27, 2007

7 things you'll wish you never knew about me

Today I was tagged by David McMahon ... I feel so.... sticky.... I just wish I knew what color spray paint he used! It's so hard to tell in this virtual world.
Sorry David, I don't know how to do that loverly little name click thingy, so visit David here:
http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/ And do it regularly, the guy is a master of puns and has more vim than the energizer bunny.

David wants to know seven little known facts about me (the real tag title), as you will see the timing is impeccable. Reader beware.
Here goes.

1) yesterday one of my favorite alpacas gave birth to a beautiful female cria who was premature. She died a few hours later while I looked on and could do nothing, and I cried all night. This was to be one of only three expected crias this year on our small farm.

2) in 1990 I almost committed suicide but instead went to an AA meeting. I got clean & sober that year and stopped my life destructive drinking and my cocaine abuse, and thought life would be so much easier. I thought I would never think about alcohol and suicide again.

3) Yesterday I thought of both. I contemplated throwing 17 years of sobriety out the door and remembered the oblivion I was able to achieve with sufficient quantities of liquor. Yesterday it didn't seem like such a big thing, 17 years- bah. And suicide? Good enough for my big brother, right?

4) Today my eyes are puffy and I still want a drink something fierce, but I will not take it. Suicide has been banished to the dark undercellar of my mind where it belongs, and life, amazingly is going on. One day at a time.....

5) Yesterday I wanted to quit, I questioned the existence of a loving God and raged and gnashed my teeth like a woman possessed. I convinced myself it was all my fault, and that I was being punished for not being good enough. I said "Who needs Him?? I am fine on my own."

6) Today I am humbled and realize I cannot do it alone. I haven't made it to my knees quite yet, but that time is coming, I know it is. I opened my door to this world, and found people out there who cared enough to cover me in spray paint. Thank you David for helping to pull me out, whether you knew it or not.

7) Today I went out and sat with my grieving momma to offer her comfort, and somehow she managed to make me feel better. Dumb animals indeed.
Oh, and sometimes? I just wish I was Harry Potter. With a wand, and cool robes. Escapism in it's highest form.

I would like to thank David for the tagging, and I tag the following people:

See you next time,

Friday, May 25, 2007

Joe Blogs Interview

A long time ago I got this great interview. I thought I'd repost it while I find the muse again.
Some things I would add would be shrinkwrappedscream's site (see my links) and a new movie- right now it's Cinderella. :))
Thanks again Joe! You can find him at: http://www.mrjoeblogs.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Joe Blog's Interview #54 Alpacas Are Cute
Name : Rachelle Black

Age : is this a trick question??

Location : The beautiful Kern County mountains in CA

Vocation : you mean, like what I want to be when I grow up? Oh yea, alpaca rancher, super mom, wife extraordinaire... that sums it all up.

Philosophy : You might as well laugh kid, it ain't gonna get any easier. Nope, that's no it... oh yea! Life's tough, if we stick together and help others, who have less than we do, we can only get stronger. And laugh a lot!

Sum up what your blog is about.
It's just me, talking about whatever tickles my funny bone, sharing stories about my lovely alpacas, laughing at myself, and bringing pieces of that in my life. I've had lots of tribulations in my life and humor has been the only way to get me through it. If I can share some of that with others, and it makes you laugh- my job is done.

Why are you doing your blog?
Therapeutic value and a tax write off (I haven't exactly figured that last one out yet)

Whats the funniest entry on your blog? Hmmmm.... I don't know. I don't like to talk about myself much so you decide. But my personal favorite is "Twas the night before Christmas" It kind of shows my funny and serious side. Maybe I'm like a fine wine, I get better as I age. Or, maybe I'm like an old cheese and just get stinkier, who knows?

What is your writing style? Kind of a Heinz 57 variety. A little humor, a little seriousness, some posts are informative and some require duct taping your head so it doesn't explode. In all seriousness, I love to write and share. So, you may tune in one day and laugh, and the next day cry- visit often so you don't miss out! :))

How much would you sell your blog for? $1.5 million- - - whoa, I think I hurt myself typing that so fast. Why,know someone who wants to buy it?

What do people commonly say about your site? You mean someone reads it? Kidding! I don't know, I have really enjoyed the friends I have made, and people met through this blog, they are very supportive and encouraging. They say things like-"You're so funny!" and "I want to name my first (or 5th) child after you!" They don't? Hmmm.... have to train them harder I guess.

Why should someone visit your site? Because they can, wait a minute, I was having a mom moment there.... Really, it is just too hard to go through life all serious and stuff. My blog is all about life and how tragically-terrifying-exhilarating-grief stricken-pee your pants-laugh out loud funny it is. There have been many,many bad things, and bad choices that have occurred in my life, but I'm still here and I'm in one piece. If I can share my experiences and help someone else in the process, that's what it's all about. If this appeals to you, I guess I'll see you there.

Climate change is caused by man. Myth or reality? I don't know.... I have been using my blow dryer a lot more lately, think there's a correlation??

Are there any blogs, you enjoy reading? I love Sarah Flake at http://hollywoodflakes.blogspot.com/ she is really a riot! I am a regular stalker, er, I mean reader. Also, creatively I would have to say I love the beautiful imagination of Plumpie Mousie at http://plumpiemousie.blogspot.com/ It's like a glimpse into another world.

What would you have written on your tombstone? Loving mother, caring sister, devoted daughter, good friend. Wow, that's a lot to live up to, I'd better get busy!

Would you go on a reality TV show? Not if it involves eating anything still alive, or high places. But if I get to meet Leif Garrett- I'm all over it.

What one website would you recommend and why?
Well, I obsessively check the weather on NOAA but that's not for everyone. I don't know, I visit a lot of gaming sites.... I'm not being a big help on this question am I?

Tell us a random funny story that comes to mind.
Okay, once a looong time ago I was dating this guy who's dad thought I was a loser. Since I was young I have had my two front teeth bonded or veneereddue to sensitivity (and a huge gap!).The day before my bonding cracked and a whole slice of my tooth cracked right off. I mean, the gap was apparent and even worse because before putting the last bonding treatment on they actually widened the gap. In desperation I super glued it back on because, of course, it was a holiday, AND a weekend and I couldn't get into the dentist for two more days.It worked great! You couldn't even tell, it was perfect.

So here I am eating and trying to make the best impression I can. Someone tells a horrible joke and I laugh too loudly, then take a bite of my mashed potatoes, chew and swallow.... and find out to my horror that the piece of my tooth is missing. I think quickly, surely I would have felt the crunch,right? I mean mashed potatoes aren't crunchy!! I panic and cover my mouth, everyone asks what's wrong and I explain behind my hand. Of course his father wants to see, and does everything but rip away my hand from my mouth. I am just totally embarrassed and trying to convince my boyfriend it's time to leave when his father picks up his martini glass to take a drink. The strangest expression crosses his face,and I see him hold the glass up to the light. "Um, Rachelle, I think I found your missing part." he says. Yup, sure enough, there it was in all it's glory soaking up the vodka and having a great time.

I manage to *not* crawl under a rock, get the piece back, his wife finds the super glue and I consider locking myself in the bathroom and never coming out. Carpe Dentum indeed.

Had any supernatural experiences?
Yes, about six months after my grandmother died and I was struggling with grief and a cocaine addiction, I was laying on the couch in my mother's house depressed. I suddenly smelled my grandmother's perfume, and my whole body felt like it was getting a warm hug. I couldn't move, and was filled with peace. The perfume faded after a while and the sensation of being hugged went away. I went through everything in the house looking for anything that smelled like her perfume- Avon's Rose is a Rose- but my mother assured me there wasn't anyone there, she hated that smell and would never have it around. It was Grandma. I frequently see people from the corner of my eye, and once there was a man in white walking on my lawn in the middle of the night. The veil is very thin at times my friends, very thin.

What advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?
Treasure the ones you love in your life. Tell them you love them and how much you appreciate them as often as you can- and never take their presence for granted.

Can you tell us a joke?
Nope, not too good at that, but how about a random fact?In Nebraska it is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup. Go figure.

Tell us just one of your favourite actors, actresses, comedian, song and film.
Danny Kaye, Doris Day, John Bytheway, Yikes, I didn't plan that rhyming streak there! Oceano by Josh Groban. Um.... movies are hard- I have too many that I can't live without. Currently The Incredibles is a big fave.

What’s the most incredible thing that’s ever happened to you?
The fact that I lived through my terribly destructive addictions and found God again. Funny, He was right there waiting for me.

What would you wish for with 3 wishes?
World peace.... oops, pageant moment, sorry...
1) For people to be kinder to each other
2) to be more like my Savior
3) to be a better house keeper (yup, for reals)

Now it’s your turn! Ask me one question, anything you like.
Do you wear a pair of those cool shades like Joe Cool (aka- Snoopy) does? Cool beans if you do. And thanks for the interview!

Joe Blogs : Not much use for sunglasses in England, unfortunately. I like your funny story, Cool Beans!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

AOBA Nationals

All Photographs copyrighted by Rachelle Black 2007
Here are some of my favorite shots from all the photos we took all week. Next time I will post all the ones my daughter took!

My favorite class- junior performance. Since our booth was behind ring 2, we got a good look at some of the classes. These kids worked so very hard, and did such a super job. They handled their alpacas better, in some cases, than the adults!
This little one worked so well with her alpaca!
Calm and sure, never rushed. She did great! This is a hard thing for some alpacas, all these weird obstacles and strange set ups.
Waiting their turn, these boy's alpacas looked like twins!
This silver suri had plenty of blue ribbons, isn't he handsome?
I'm a sucker for a cute face!
What a profile!
Sweet suri smile for me :))
Some of the classes were really tough, with 10 or more entries in each class. Here are some white suris checking out the competition.

Hi all! Back from nationals, and what a trip! Held in Kentucky this year, they are three hours ahead of us, so when we got there Monday evening- after traveling 12 hours- we were beat! By Thursday we seemed to be adjusting to the time difference, and by Saturday we had it! Only to come home Sunday..... now we are finally back on CA time LOL. Being there was great, alpaca shows are big in the industry, and this is the biggest- being run by our national affiliate AOBA- Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. There are now many shows nationwide, but the AOBA show is still on top.

I am in charge of the Super Stud Raffle, which is a big fundraiser for the Alpaca Research Foundation. ARF provides research monies and grants for medical studies in the camelid field. And I am on the development committee. This year was the 7th year of the raffle, and my first year in charge! Yikes!! Each year we find two of the top male herdsires in the country- one suri, one huacaya- and their owners graciously donate a breeding to each of them. Then we offer the tickets at $50 each and anyone can participate. This year was a great year, we had two stunning males that were each well received. The winners were both new breeders, both with small herds, both very glad to win! What fun!! This year we raised about $5,000- not the highest year, but still a great one.

Well, I'm off for now, see you next time!

Friday, May 11, 2007

For Madriene

Wednesday night one of my dear friends died. While I am too raw to write all that she meant to me, as I have lain sleepless the last two nights and wept and grieved, I feel the need to express a little of what comes to mind when I think of Madriene.
A bright and cheerful Cosmos bloom- for her upbeat personality.

Bright spring peach blossoms for her ability to light up a room with her smile.

A rose, weeping in the morning dew- represents both all I have lost with her passing, and the hidden thorns which might be revealed when she was riled up.

Truly, I am simply flattened by this passing. In one week it will be the two year anniversary of my best friend's death.

I am undone.

Next week I will be gone to Kentucky, so while I will be checking in and reading, I won't be posting.

No one is allowed to die while I'm gone.

For my wild, bohemian hippy love child Madriene- I miss you..........

Photographs copyrighted: Rachelle Black 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Guest Blogger Day!

This is Rufus the Bravehearted

Today I have a guest blogger. She lives in Minnesota and raises alpacas too. Her name is Sandy Kunath and her ranch is Glacial Ridge Alpacas.

We both belong to a huge chat site comprised of about 2,000 where husbandry tips are passed down, triumphs shared, tragedys wept over and alpacas worshipped- but of course!

This post caught my eye and Sandi's unique way of writing captured my imagination. It is a long story, but well, well worth the read. I hope you enjoy it, and you can visit her website at: http://www.glacialridgealpacas.com

Here goes!

today i am humbled, my heart full and i must write to the only people who will understand, a year ago or so i wrote the message below about how my junior herdsire went with me to our local senior center and as i put it back then-"they were not only on their best behavior but were extra quiet, extra slow and well, it was just down right touching to watch them stand still for a soft shaking hand to stroke them in awe and nervousness and bend down to those in wheel chairs and those too frail to get out of their beds without even being told to, offering kisses to anyone who wanted them and trying to persuade those more timid to try to kiss them ...the outpouring of gentle love and respect humbled me", well today was different, in a way,...

i awoke early still sore from doing only 1/2 of the hay we should have done yesterday and looking forward to a soothing hot shower to take the cramps from my shoulders so i can get outside and begin my cria watch, day 335 today and i'm eager to see what should be our first cria of 2007 and a gorgeous day at that, our first warm sunny day this spring. then i have an outside stud service late this afternoon and then whoopee the rest of the hay has to be put away and stacked...

but at 7 am the phone rings, not a common sound around here that time of day, a deep sighs and i'm sitting by the bed looking at the caller id display, the old folk's home? why? my mind buzzing, could it be my knitting buddy who wasn't feeling well last month and is only 1/2 through a wonderful sweater she's making for me merino and alpaca soft as butter yarn, my own father is back east and coming to live with us this summer and my mom passed away 2 years ago (starting me on my crusade to visit older folks every week and give them something to look forward to, whether it's an animal or knitting or spinning or even dyeing fiber, anything to wake up and smile about, the way my mom always did), the administrators voice asked me quietly if rufus was home, now rufus is now a proven stud of many ribbons who has retained the gentle loving nature he was born with...and if he was busy this morning...

she sounds strange and i ask why, charlie was asking for him, needing to see him asap she says to me, she's sorry to call, she knows i'll be there later this weekend but i was planning on bringing a new 2 week old lamb and 2 week old angora rabbit, but charlie ,well grouchy old charlie, he's dying, and is only asking for rufus over and over again, is there any way, any way at all please could i bring him now??? my mind reorganizing my day quickly, remembering the stud service later, ..sure, we'll be there within the hour i say, hmm, maybe you need to be faster sandy she says quietly, i know he's a cantankerous coot but i don't think he'll make the hour...

i'm on my way... calling to dear hubby what's going on, the hot spray of the shower on my aching back forgotten, the truck keys in my hand, by the time i've haltered my boy hubby has the trailor hitched and the cell phone in my hand, let me know he says, i'll do morning chores, call me if we have cria i say, i'll be back by 10 probably (we usually stay about 2 hours)...and we load rufus and start the engines..it's a 30-40 minute drive and rufus is unnaturally upset back there, usually a pro at travel (he does drive by breedings besides p.r. work), he's not happy and not cushing and upsetting me even further....he's eager to disembark when we pull into the van zone and is dancing all over the place, he can't go in there like this i'm thinking and try walking him along the walkways like a dog to calm him, talking quietly and calmly... what am i do to now, i can't take a wild barely controlled alpaca into a nursing home, resigned i walk him back to the trailor thinking i'll just have to trailor him and go in myself to see what's up in there...but he has other ideas, lol, he's a big boy and i'm a lil woman, but i have the lead and he's going back in until at least he's calmer i tell him....... he cushed in front of the doorway and won't budge.

now this sounds like no big deal, but honestly he's never ever acted this way, females i have had had to be lifted into a trailor or van but never him. he's like an alpaca i've never met, humming to himself and fighting me, i sit on the ground beside him and relax since we're going nowhere at all, neither in the home or in the trailor..carrie (the home's admin of nursing) comes out a side door and calls to us to come on... in a blink of an eye, almost jerking my arm out of the socket my big stud is up and ready to go to work, standing by my side, still and quiet and eager...

okay, i'm the crazy one i'm thinking as we walk silently into the assisted care area and straight down the hall, the smells in here always scare me, the lack of happy sounds always make me sad and slightly ill feeling... and my animals are rarely allowed in this section, usually we go to the main areas and people come to us... she motions us into the room and the man i haven't seen in almost a month, because "he didn't have time for such nonsense as me and my silliness" is a mere shadow of what i remembered him as (i never really knew what that term meant until i started our work here).

he looks terrible and the silence in the room except for a soft hissing is just awful, the alpaca knows what to do and stands still and tall, until he's called over by a frail shaking hand, then we go forward to hear him whispering to rufus how beautiful he is , how he's missed him, how he's so glad to see him, how he-charlie- is an old fool who has many regrets, through it all he's stroking the neck of my big boy who is bent down so the man can touch him while in bed, no jerking, no jumping, soft whoofing from his breath he merely allows the man to stroke and talk to him, many of his words i cannot hear, they are not for my ears anyway, he's talking to my big macho man, not to me, he's on a halter and 8 foot lead and i'm way on the other end of the lead and don't want to hear his whispers to my alpaca.

i'm watching closely and after about 10 minutes rufus is humming while charlie's mouth is moving but i hear no words, looks to me like charlie's eyes are closed as i move in closer to be sure all is okay. he's so tired he tells me and thanks me for bringing is friend back to see him. he asks me my name again and i tell him again and remind him we'll come back again, he merely smiles and closes his eyes again... beep beep beep whoosh whoosh are all the sounds i can hear and i'm getting prickles on the back of my neck as my dear alpaca cushes by the bed side, his head within charlie's reach as charlie's hand falls onto the back of his neck,

i move to gather the lead up and let the man sleep and take rufus to the common center to say hi to anyone there only rufus isn't going anywhere, refuses completely to stand or even move. he's staying. he humms to me quietly and suddenly i feel terrible, tears choking my throat i feel like i can't breath as i realize my alpaca intends to stay with the dying man until he's gone, how does he know, where does he get this insight, this calm acceptance, this strength and caring? about 50 minutes later the beeping is erratic and i see charlie smile for the first time ever as the last word he says is rufus.... his fingers in my alpacas top knot ... the nurse who has joined us says we can stay for a bit since my alpaca isn't quite ready to leave yet and she does a triple take at the smile on charlie's face..

within 15 minutes my boy is standing up and whoofling at charlie's face before heading calmly and silently out the door, he's not in the mood for the common room any more then i am and is heading right out the exit steadily and quietly...we're home and outside in about an hour and he's wandering around his pasture quietly, no rejoicing and prancing as he normally does, he's reserved and seems to me (who personifies my animals my hubby says) thoughtful and subdued.... he greets his "date" 30 minutes later and does what is expected of him then resumes his munching and looks once over his shoulder at me as i let him out into the big pasture to enjoy the rest of his day..."just another day at work on the farm mom, no worries" and i weep at the gentle alpaca souls i have been blessed with caring for...
sandy in minnesota,
whose throat is sore whose nose is red whose heart is full and who is truly truly blessed
Wow, I just cried again while getting this ready for posting. Thank you Sandy for being a guest on my blog today. We should all be as wise and caring as Rufus....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Sari Incident- reposted by request

Pastures in the Spring
Winter in the Buckeyes

You may remember a while back a post that vaguely referred to something called "The Sari Incident". Since it's raining outside and the muse is silent today, I thought I would post that story today. This happened to me on a warm sunny day in summer about three years ago. It was a very humiliating experience, but one I'm sure will provide lively entertainment for you.

So I offer up for your amusement, The Sari Incident:

Today was right out of a Laurel & Hardy movie, starring yours truly. We live in a canyon, picture from the bottom, a gentle upward slope, cozy houses tucked away on natural 'shelves' going up the canyon. We are about half way up and our nearest neighbor is about 1/8 mile below us. She can look up and see our alpacas, their pastures, but not our house proper.

The event that occurred was out in the bottom grass pasture, of course! I was wearing a tee-shirt and a sari type wrap around my waist and was minding my own business hanging out with the machos while they grazed, watching the blue sky and playing "I CAN touch you" with my llama boy. Suddenly I was attacked, I was stung by a bee! Wait, that was a bite, Ouch!! Now that was a sting!

Of course, it wasn't on any visible surface, like my arm, or leg.... it was on my bottom... How the wasp found it's way up the sari and into no man's land is a mystery.

I tried to smack the wasp into submission, tried to squish it with my hand, but to no avail. Finally, after the fourth sting- in desperation, ripping off the sari I start shrieking and waving it around frantically, trying to dislodge the offending beast.

My neighbor below who had just pulled up to her house in her car, perhaps thinking I was engaging in some sort of strange new greeting, waves back and yells "Hello!!" with a puzzled look, then hustles into her house without a backward glance. The alpacas are jumping around, leaping into the air thinking it is time to play 'booga-booga'. My dog Fatty Lumpkins, ever my knight in shining armor, runs into the pasture under the gate, scatters the pacas and knocks me over to grab the sari in his mouth and start tearing it apart. Perhaps he thought it was a giant bloodthirsty bat attacking his mommy..... Then, to top it all off, I slip on the grass and land on my derriere.

I run for the house with the wasp, it's whereabouts still unknown, perhaps in my underwear? (I am NOT going to take THEM off out there) I have a suspicion my neighbor is peering out from behind her curtains, maybe she is on the phone with the sheriff, reporting her nutty neighbor, I don't know. I hear the pacas sniggering in the background.

After my 10 year old daughter recovers from seeing her mother running through the house at top speed half naked, she comes to see if she can laugh at me, er, I mean help. "Look for astinger!!" I yell frantically. "Mom! Gross!!" she says trying to hide her giggles of glee. Nope, it was a wasp. It got me thrice with it's stinger, once with it's nasty little teeth - I know they don't have any but still. I can only hope I squashed the little bugger when I hit the ground. I hate Yellow Jackets......

I really don't know what I am going to say the next time I see my neighbor. It wouldn't be so bad if she hadn't wondered just how loony I was because I crawled around on my hands and knees for 2 weeks right after we moved here, picking every little microscopic unidentified weed with my fanny up in the air. Oh, and the time I was out there breaking up a fight between three of my males in my pajamas with my big PVC piece, screaming at them to "Knock it off before you wake up the neighbors!!" (hay! It was early in the morning!!)
Ouch......... more than my pride was wounded on this day.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional wasp killer, please consult your local professional before trying to squish one with your behind. Do not exceed recommended daily allowance. Extreme panic may ensue.

Hope you enjoyed!