Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ten pounds!!

Please pray for Little One's family-biological and possible adoptive. It's looking like decisions will be made soon. He so deserves a safe, loving, permanent family. He is such a wonderful, sweet little guy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Day!!



We were blessed with a snow day today so I'm sitting in front of my fireplace listening to the Little One snore. He's wrapped in several layers of fleece and looks very comfortable. He's been with me for three weeks as of yesterday and let's just say it doesn't look like his case is going to move all that quickly. He gained 6oz last week (he's now 9lbs, 6oz) and has another weight check scheduled for tomorrow. This whole process has been interesting to say the least. It's been so good for me to adjust my expectations and relinquish control of things. I tend to want to plan, know things in advance etc. That is pretty much impossible when you are doing foster care. We've got a very busy schedule this week including three visits with his mom, a pediatrician's appointment Wednesday to monitor his weight, homevisits with two different social workers (now that is just weird), a WIC appointment (also to monitor his weight) and a developmental evaluation. This is in addition to my work schedule. I am every so thankful for my flexible, supportive job! I won't be posting any identifying pictures to allow the Little One and his family their privacy but here's one of his sweet little hand while he's sleeping.




We are heading to Jemez Springs for Christmas next Tuesday and I can't wait to hunker down in front of the wood stove and watch the snow fall in the woods!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another 15 ozs

Little one had another appointment with his pediatrician today and had gained 15 oz in the last week. He's finally on the growth charts! It's really amazing to see the transformation from bald headed, skin and bone, translucent skin and listless to an inch of soft strawberry blond hair, rosy cheeks, full belly and smiles in only 10 days. I really thought I'd be more exhausted but I feel great. Tired, a little scattered but peaceful and energetic. I also wondered how I'd feel about caring for a child on a daily basis without knowing what the child's future held. The truth is, I wonder but I don't dwell on it. I hope and I pray for positive decisions and wise choices but I know that I am doing what I can do. I've also been pleasantly surprised by the amount of support I've gotten. People are just jumping over each other to love on this little guy. He's been blessed with material items, snuggles and prayers from friends and family all across the country.


Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1 lb in 36 hours

The little one had an appointment with his pediatrician today and had gained a pound since he was weighed Monday evening! It was so sweet, 2 doctors and at least four nurses came in to see him because they'd been so worried about him. Three of the nurses burst into tears when they heard his progress. One nurse looked at him and said to him, "thank you for reminding me why I work in Pediatrics". He's already making quite the impact on this big world. I'm so thankful I get to know him for this time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Failure to Thrive

I'm taking care of a tiny, little baby boy who was born about two months ago and only gained 1 oz. since birth. He is really adorable and is eating very well (4oz every 2-3 hours). I was worried that he might have reflux or something that would make it difficult to keep his formula down but no sign of that so far.

Apparently children normally grow at a rate of about 30 g (1 ounce)/day in early infancy (birth to 3 months) and this then slows to about 20 g/day from 3-6 months and to only 12-15 g/day in later infancy (6 - 12 months). Older children grow even more slowly, with toddlers (1-3 years) growing, at about 8 g/day, and preschool age children at about 6g/day.

Please pray for strength for this sweet baby.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Child proofing my house

Jayden has taken it upon himself to make sure my house is safe and uncluttered...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Prayers for Foster Care

Since being licensed to do foster care, I've been moved to pray for the children and their families. Due to my work schedule, I haven't been able to accept the situations presented to me so far but I know that prayer is the most important thing I can do anyway.... I found this list today and wanted to share it...

Foster Care Prayer Requests
Pray for the children entering foster care today, that they find an appropriate, kind and loving foster family to care for them until their birth families or relatives are able to do so.

Pray for the sibling groups of children entering foster care today, that they will be placed together in one foster home.

Pray for all the foster children in care, that their first foster home is also their last foster home, as multiple placements rob children of stability and love which is required to build the self-esteem needed to grow into responsible, caring adults.

Pray that more singles, couples and families become foster parents. More experienced and caring foster homes are needed to enable Division of Youth and Families Services to make appropriate placements that keep siblings together, make the first foster placement the only foster care placement, and assure each foster home is able and willing to meet the special needs of their foster children.

Pray that all children in out-of-home care will quickly return to a safe home or find an alternative permanent and loving home.

Please pray for God's intervention with all families to enable them to successfully complete programs for recovery and allow the reunification of foster children to safe and caring birth families.

Please pray that the federal, state and local governments, will see the plight of so many of our children and families and work toward prevention and increasing services.

Pray that God blesses all the caseworkers and staff who make decisions daily which have a huge impact on the lives of children and families. Their job is a thankless one, requiring walking a thin line, in that they are continually criticized for being too intrusive, removing children too quickly; and for not acting quickly enough, whenever a child is abused.

When a family reunification is unlikely in a reasonable time period, we pray that God's hand guides the judges at termination of parental rights trials to make their decision in the child's best interest. God bless the judges who must decide whether or not children return to birth families or become freed for adoption.

Pray for all those children whose birth families are unable to care for them, are freed for adoption, but have nobody willing to give them a forever home.

Pray that foster and adoptive families and their children receive the support and understanding of their communities.

Bless those who put idea into action and make a positive difference in the lives of children, particularly children in foster care.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

National Adoption Day

November is National Adoption Month. Every year, our Children's Court opens on a Saturday to finalize as many adoptions as possible to bring awareness to the need for foster and adoptive parents in the United States. Right now, there are over 500,000 kids in foster care in the U.S. Some of those kids will be reunited with their biological parents but others will need adoptive families. In the United States, there are currently 129,000 children in foster care waiting for adoptive families. In New Mexico, we currently have 350ish kids waiting for forever families. Today, we finalized 5 adoptions through our agency and 42 adoptions in the county. They are all incredibly important and reason to celebrate but one was especially close to my heart.

One was a preteen who I have been working with for about a year and half. In that time, she was devastated by saying goodbye to her biological mother, disappointed by a family member who turned out to be an inappropriate placement option for her, felt rejected by an adoptive family who had become pregnant after her placement with them and confused by two chaotic short term fostercare placements. This child is not easy but she is amazing. She can be self-centered and controlling. She is also bright, determined, caring and funny.

Earlier this summer, I was doing the bible study, "No Other Gods" by Kelli Minter with some wonderful friends. Here is an excerpt from my notes from August 14th... "I've come to realize that I have made my work a god in my life. I sometimes feel like if I don't fix something, it will stay broken. If I don't make things happen the way they should, everything will go awry. I live under an amount of stress that I don't think God wants in my life. I finally understand that when I go overboard fixing things for people, I may be getting in the way of God's plan for them. He is probably teaching them (and me) something in the struggle. This may not make sense to you but it is HUGE for me. In the meantime, I have a client, we'll call her, Ann. She is 12. Her mother made a voluntary adoption plan for her earlier this year and I placed her with a family. This family became pregnant immediately after the placement and chose not to continue with the adoption. This broke Ann's heart and created a sense of responsibility in me that was overwhelming. I felt like I was the only one that could/would figure things out for her. I couldn't sleep, I was always worried about her. I received several inquiries from families who were interested but none of them seemed right. For the last several months I've been reading a blog I found online written by a mom with a large family. I found her blog this spring when I was searching for information for a client. I was so interested on how in the world this family was thriving and loving and living. We'll call them "the Smith family". During this time, because of this study, I'm slowly realizing the depth of my misperceptions regarding allowing work to be a false god in my life (according to the bible, an idol is something other than God that we set our hearts on , that motivates us, that masters and rules us, or that we trust, fear or serve).

One morning, I was sitting outside in the backyard doing my biblestudy before work and realized the damage of my selfishness and attempt to control. I cried out to the Lord to take this situation. I admitted that He is the only one who knows where this little girl needs to be. I am powerless. I do not know what's best for her. I immediately felt a sense of peace. It was like the Lord was saying to me, "Megan, I've just been waiting for you to get here". As I was getting ready for work, I thought, I wish a family like "the Smiths" would send their profile. They seemed to really get what older kids need. They seemed to be the type of family that would stick it out no matter what. Later that day, I read "the Smiths" blog and there was a post about the fact that they had moved around the kids' rooms and there was an empty bed in one of the rooms and that if they ever adopted again, it would need to be a teenage girl. I about fell out of my chair. I literally wept. I knew in my heart I had to email them and just ask. Would they be interested? I sent an email that evening and by the next morning, they'd written back and said they were shocked, considering it and praying about it. Hope! I felt like I was going to sing. I just kept praising God. God was moving in ways that I could not even have imagined. After a few days, the Smiths said they felt that God wanted Ann to be in their home and they were interested in proceeding. I'm telling you, I couldn't stop praising the One who knew exactly where Ann needed to be. Walls I worried would be insurmountable were crumbling. I am shocked, humbled, amazed and so incredibly blessed to be witnessing the miracle the Lord is creating for Ann. Please join me in thanking God and asking for his peace, wisdom and grace. Please pray that Ann will be able to open her heart and be vulnerable. She is an incredible kid who has had so much disappointment in her life. Please pray that I can step back and observe the mighty hand of Ann's true Father."

Today we finalized "Ann's" adoption by the "Smith" family. God is good. She is home.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

1 Thessalonians 1:3

I will receive my foster care license on Wednesday. I don't know how long it will take for a child to actually be placed in my home. I am relying on God's impeccable timing and trusting that He will use every minute to prepare me for my next steps in this journey. I want to purge everything that would not be "child friendly" from my life and my home because I want my home to be a sanctuary of warmth, safety and security. Since I received the copy of my homestudy last week, I've been caught in a thought process that surprised me. Of course, I'm nervous and excited but mainly I've felt moved to pray. Pray for the state of our world, pray for our NEW PRESIDENT, pray for my friends and family, Pray for myself but above all---Pray for the little boy or girl out there who is in a less than optimal situation. There are approximately 500,000 kids in foster care in any one time in this country. Estimates are that three times that number are being abused/neglected in their home environments every day. The chances are good that the child who will soon be placed in my home is even now surrounded by chaos, danger, abuse or neglect. I work with these kids every day but it is so incredibly different to be on this side of things. Specifically, I am praying that God will be with this child in whatever their current circumstances. I am seeking God's miraculous intervention for protection, resiliency and peace.

My devotional this morning is Psalm 91:4-7
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall is officially here...

So, last Sunday evening I spent time in my garden picking tomatoes, eggplant and onions. Everything was lush and green. This week, Albuquerque had at least two nights that hit 28 degrees. I know it is October but I still wasn't expecting it. Within a week, the morning glories have shriveled, the peach tree lost its leaves and the veggies are dead. My Dad is coming for a visit on Tuesday and I was really hoping he'd be able to see the yard before everything turned brown. For some odd reason, my family seems to only visit when it's the cold season. But oh well... I'm usually a very "glass is half full" kinda gal so I'm trying to focus on the delightful crisp temperatures, the joy of my fireplace in the evenings and the cozy down comforter covering my bed. I'm also planning some home improvements while it's too cold to garden. I hope to paint the living room, kitchen and hallway and put in new flooring throughout before my heirloom seed packets arrive in February.

In other news, I have a meeting scheduled to meet with the homestudy social worker (it's so weird to say that cause that's usually me) on November 24th to be licensed as a foster parent. The questions and second guessing have given way to a profound peace and bubbling excitement. I am really looking forward to drawing on the fun, secure childhood my parents provided and the knowledge and skills from my education and career path to give a child a safe, stable home for however long God chooses to use me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Update

Thank you to everyone who has been so incredibly supportive of my newest adventure-Foster Care! The piles of paperwork are done, the fingerprints are submitted, the doctor signed my clearance and my electrical outlets are covered. My home visit was today and now the worker just has to write up the report. He said that I should be licensed within the next couple weeks. Please keep praying and know that I am so incredibly thankful for your friendship and support (All 13 reference letters brought tears to my eyes!). Yesterday, I was second guessing/overthinking/being pessimistic and out of the blue a waitress started telling me about how she had been in foster care between the ages of 2-4 and now at the age of 24, she wants to find her foster mom and thank her for the huge impact she had on her life. She didn't know me, she didn't know my thoughts...but God did.

Also...strangely enough...my fortune cookie today said "Children will play an important role in your life". As if they already don't... I know this is probably going to be the most difficult thing I've ever done...it's going to tax my patience, skills and faith...It's going to force me to step outside of myself and completely lose my false sense of control. I can't wait.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stepping out...

The garden is in full bloom but there are signs that Fall is here. Some of the leaves are fading, the roses are slow to flower and the tomatoes are plentiful. I love this time of year --the temperature is perfect, the holidays are just around the corner and I can just sit back and the garden is established. I tend to dread the slow approach of winter however-the thought of all my beautiful, carefully tended plants breathing their last is always difficult for me. Some just hold their breath til Spring but others are no more. For any overly involved gardener, that's a rough time. I saw this quote today though that put it all into perspective..." To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” George Santayana ~~~
My desire for this week is to see the beauty and embrace each day. To be content and full of appreciation for this season whatever tomorrow brings.







Friday, September 5, 2008

Quandaries...




Last spring, I was thrilled to find seeds for lime green zinnias. I bought purple, pink and the lime green ones and planted the seeds very carefully. I had a pattern of color in my head that I just knew was going to be great. Well, nothing happened. Okay, not nothing, but only the purple and pink ones. My vision was not to be. Bummer. Then, all of a sudden this summer- Waa LAA! (Is that how you spell it?) A great lime green zinnia. Okay, Lord, I get it. Wait and You'll do it in your timing. Did I mention that it came up in a completely different area than I planted it? Again, Okay, I get it. Your ways not mine. Things may look completely different than I had planned but can still be just as beautiful. Then I see this one. Soooo amazing. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is the only white morning glory with purple stripes. It completely stands out and completely fits in. The purple is the exact same color tone as the Russian Sage it is climbing. You may be asking, Megan, Why are you reading so much into the flowers in your yard? There is a method to my madness. Okay, maybe not a method but a reason. As long as I can remember, God has spoken to my family through flowers. When my Mom lost a dear dear friend a couple years ago, the Lord gave her an incredible hydrangea bloom that this friend knew she wanted. When I was a kid and my precious dog passed away, a single daffodil bloomed above where she was buried the year after she died. I'm not getting all foo foo or anything, but I do believe that God speaks to us in ways that only we can understand. That's how well He knows us and how much He wants us to get what He has to say to us. How incredible is that?

I am confused right now. Not upset, not sad, not agitated. Just contemplative. For several years, I've been playing with the idea of foster care. I've always believed that I would adopt some day. I remember as a little girl that some of my dolls were biological children and some joined my doll family through adoption. I'm sure at the time, I'd have probably described that in a much less PC way but you get the picture. I've also worked with kids and families for my whole career so adoption and foster care is not something foreign to me at all. I always assumed that I would meet Mr. Perfect and have babies and adopt some babies and live happily ever after. Well, I do feel like I am in the happily ever after but the first two wishes just haven't materialized. So what's a single girl in her mid 30's to do? I have never been one of those people that think, "Gee, I think it would be great to be a single parent". I believe strongly that children need two parents. But then I see so many kids that don't even have one.

People that know me well, know that the theme verse for the last several years has been, "Wait for the Lord". I have been. Not patiently but willingly. In the last several months, I've been feeling a tug toward foster care-maybe that is my path. I don't want to step for a moment outside God's will for me and I do not want to not step out in faith. See my quandary?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Lessons from the Dog Whisperer






I spent the first part of today cleaning out my closet (with Eminem lyrics in my head) and bagging up clothes for the Goodwill. While I sat on the floor and went through my drawers, I was thrilled to find a Dog Whisperer marathon on the National Geographic Channel. I totally heart the Dog Whisperer. After watching several episodes of him telling ridiculous (very much like me) dog owners to "Be the pack leader and exude calm, assertive energy", I got the perfect opportunity to try out my new skills. Tammy called and asked if we wanted to go meet them at the park and play tennis. I just knew that the 3 hours I spent absorbing Caesar's wisdom would pay off. My dogs would be miraculously transformed by my new peaceful demeanor and The psycho fencing bumping dogs down the street would be no match for my tranquil attitude. Lately I've been using a connector dealiebob to take the dogs on a walk using just one leash. I hadn't ever seen the Dog Whisperer use one and despite my initial excitement, I understand why. Picture dogs jumping over each other, getting caught on either side of posts, trees, mailboxes etc. During my epic closet cleaning adventure this morning, I'd uncovered a leash that I had thought was long gone. This created yet another way I could use my new found knowledge. I got the leashes on the dogs and was repeating to myself, "Calm and Assertive". If you have to repeat it, I'm guessing you aren't feeling it, in hindsight. Anyway, I opened the door and forgot the first lesson immediately (you go out first, dogs follow you)...oh well. Anyway, I spent the first 3 blocks doing the DW hiss and jerking them away from everything. My calm, assertive attitude was quickly dissipating along with the feeling in my hands. But an amazing thing happened at some point in block 4, the dogs fell in line! There was slack in each leash and they were happily trotting next to me. It wasn't perfect, we definately stopped more times to "water the plants" than I would like, but it was seriously incredible. It really works... On the way home, I was thinking about how nice it was to walk without tension and have a peaceful, relaxing walk. It reminded me of my walk with God-- how many times do I bolt out the door without stopping to make sure He wants me to go? In order to find peace, the dogs needed to be on a short leash that was independant of anyone else. This part really got me... They needed to be close enough to feel a quick reminder tug in order to stay on the path. If one of them got distracted by something they didn't need to focus on, I just gave them a quick tug and a verbal reminder and they looked forward and walked the path I had for them. They had to respect that I was the leader and trust that I knew where we were going. How many times do I ignore that still small voice when I'm looking elsewhere? Both dogs are now passed out on the floor after thoroughly enjoying our walk. I feel like we all had a breakthrough. Tomorrow, my goal is to respond to each little tug and keep my eyes on the path before me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Graduation to my "Brother-Dog", Darby

Darby is 12 months old and just earned Top of the class in his obedience school. He was given two toys and a bowl of doggie ice cream. I think the real applause should go to my Mom for rangling this huge puppy through his lessons!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I heart Morning Glories!


This one is struggling to survive after sprouting up between the flagstone in my patio


Okay, I know this isn't a Morning glory but I figured I would include an update on the garbage disposal squash... I think I need to replant...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blessings and Awe


The amazing garbage disposal squash...



I've got so much I want to write about but so little time at the moment....In the meantime, I'll post some pictures.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Garden patch bringing unity... I love it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008Last updated 12:49 a.m. PT
Life grows where death took root
Central Area P-patch groundbreaking is Saturday near sites of 2 shootings
By DEBERA CARLTON HARRELLP-I REPORTER
Residents in the Central Area, frustrated by recent shootings in their neighborhood, want to bring the community together around something upbeat: a new P-patch.
Neighbors plan to break ground Saturday on the long-awaited Spring Street P-patch, located on a city-owned lot near the sites of two separate, fatal shootings in recent months.
Though small – about 1,922 square feet – it is of huge significance, residents say.
"The P-patch has been in the works for almost two years, but has become more relevant and needed in light of the tragedies," said Christina Cummings, co-project coordinator with neighbor Mel Tomlin. "The shootings have given us all the more reason to make the garden a reality."
Scott MacGowan, who grew up in the Central Area and helped spearhead efforts to get the P-patch land, agreed. The death Jan. 30 of Degene Berecha Dashasa, a 31-year-old Ethiopian immigrant who owned the Philadelphia Cheese Steak restaurant, hit neighbors very hard, MacGowan said.
"He (Dashasa) was one of the initial donors to the P-patch; it really helped us build momentum with local business owners and the community," MacGowan said. A memorial to Dashasa, whose restaurant was at 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, may be included in the garden's design, he added.
Rey Alberto Davis-Bell, 23, was charged with first-degree murder in Dashasa's death.
MacGowan said the neighborhood has become safer since the shootings, which were within a three-block radius of the P-patch. But the tragedies spurred calls for more public safety – in part through increased understanding, respect and trust among the area's increasingly diverse residents.
In this, the garden plays a major role, residents say.
"We want this to be a unity garden," MacGowan said. "A lot of people ... didn't want to get involved, but I think that's changing now. … We want to use the P-patch to bring everyone together to talk about gardening, their different cultures – able to relate to each other better."
Choked with weeds and thick with 6-foot-high blackberry bushes, the lot will take substantial work to clear before a garden takes shape. Neighborhood volunteers will be joined by the Student Conservation Association, Reel Youth and goats from the Goat Justice League.
"It's pretty weedy, but it won't look like that after this weekend," said Rich Macdonald, P-patch program manager for the city of Seattle. "And in six months, it will be a great place for people to gather around – a real community-building place."
The Spring Street P-patch is one of 69 P-patches throughout the city, Macdonald said. Bolstered by an urban grow-your-own food trend, a hunger for open space and "people just wanting something good happening in their neighborhood," the number of such gardens has grown by two to five a year the past 15 years, he said.
"P-patches provide a lot of things for a community," Macdonald said. "Growing your own food is something that cuts across all classes of people; well off or not, they can put food on their table. But they also help provide green space that helps neighborhoods feel complete."
P-patch development citywide has been funded by the Department of Neighborhood's matching fund program. After the site was bought by the city for $185,000 in late 2007, at the community's urging, neighbors began planning, organizing volunteer efforts and fundraising to earn a $15,700 matching grant, awarded in March.
Contributions included cash as well as donated time from a local architect and surveyor – and volunteers.
Later work parties, Cummings said, will involve moving dirt, building a retaining wall, installing a water system and building about 15 plots.
"We're hoping," as Cummings put it, "to provide a space for people to come together to get their needs met … and give neighbors something to talk about besides crime and violence."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Central Area neighbors are holding a groundbreaking Saturday to prepare a site for the Spring Street P-patch. Volunteers are welcome, but must RSVP to annachristina02@gmail.com.
The event is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the corner of 25th Avenue and East Spring Street.
For details: seattle.gov/neighborhoods/ppatch/locations/55.htm
P-I reporter Debera Carlton Harrell can be reached at 206-448-8326 or deberaharrell@seattlepi.com.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

When the sun shines, there is no prettier place...






I'm home in Snoqualmie (30 miles east of Seattle) for a few days. A special thank you to Tammy and Ro for taking care of my garden and to Erika and Steve for putting up with my puppies! I'll owe you all big if everything is alive when I get back! In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the last couple of days. My parents work so hard to tame their beautiful property...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The ongoing tale of the Garbage Disposal Squash





The starts are growing very quickly and appear to be adjusting well to life outside the disposal...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sprouting Squash in the Garbage Disposal




Okay, I've been known to try some pretty unique ways of doing things...but this is ridiculous... As I came in from outside, I spotted the little sprout poking its little head out of the garbage disposal. My first thought was, "Oh Lord, please don't let that be a snake poking out of my sink". I crept up close to it and gave it a little tug and the whole mess came popping right out. I think it's got to be spaghetti squash inards that apparently didn't get disposalized ( I love making up new words) properly. Being the psychotic gardener I am, I promptly planted the whole mess of sprouts in the garden. I don't know how it'll work, but I've always been up for a fun experiment. I'm a little worried about Curby the Squash (yes, I'm aware I am a total dork). It's pretty hot outside but it can't be worse than the inside of a garbage disposal...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hummingbirds and Butterflies and Squashbugs...Oh MY!

I am on a mission. A very important mission. I will rid my yard of an enemy. An enemy that is sneaky, overwhelmingly destructive and quite frankly, extremely smelly. I have sworn to rid my environment of the disgusting squash bug! I have discovered that if I give my squash plants a quick but thorough soak with the hose, wait a few seconds and they crawl up to the tops of the leaves to dry off. Then they are swiftly but gently removed from the plant and whacked or if you prefer... sent to sleep with the fishes, bought the farm, pushing up daisies or kicked the bucket. Whatever, I don't care what you call it but they are smitherines! I need to do a quick disclaimer here to reassure you that I have not completely lost my mind and become a crazy bug killer. I was actually slightly momentarily concerned about my obsession but when I did a search online I found quotes like,
" Satan is that nasty squash bug. Not only does he want what he can't have and hasn't earned, he wants to make us miserable like he is. He wants to use us and then leave us dead. He attacks where he thinks we won't see, or where we won't notice (the underside of the leaf), and starts out small an innocent. You should see the size of these eggs - literally the size of a mustard seed! If gone unchecked, those eggs would have hatched into something bigger and much more destructive, and then where do they go? Straight to the soul of the plant!I'm also amazed at how MAD this is making me!"

Okay, well, I may be crazy but at least I'm not alone!

Seriously though, I have always had a soft spot for everything...seriously everything... (when I was a kid, I'd rotate out my toys and dolls so that none of them felt bad for spending too much time in the closet). I have been known to rescue numerous creepy crawlies from my home, friend's homes, the office and relocate them to the out of doors much to the dismay of many more squeemish friends and family members. But these nasty squashbugs have triggered some basic kill or be killed instinct in me. They attack my sweet little squash and I must destroy them!

On a happier and slightly less obsessive and morbid note, when I took a break from hunting squashbugs I was blown away by the sheer volume of flying objects in my yard...