About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

They're Back!

It's that time of year when the mountain temperatures fall below freezing, our leaves change to vivid bright colors and we are inundated with creepy crawly ladybugs. They fly around and land on anything -- first the white house, then the dark brown door and then eventually on me. I used to think these little bugs were cute and helped nature protect the plants by getting rid of aphids and other little infestations. However, when I find one crawling on my shirt because I stepped out onto the deck for a breath of fresh October air, the time for cuteness is over.

I rarely see ladybugs in the spring and summer months when our plants could use them. Oh, no, they wait until October to swarm upon us like a plague of locusts and invade our house through any small crack they might find. We have sealed almost ever crack in our aging house and made sure that the new additions have been sealed tightly with caulk. One of our neighbors is not as fortunate in keeping the ladybugs away. His house is older
than ours and has not been sealed. Ladybugs cover all the furniture. Oh, yuck!

How did ladybugs get their name? I had to look that up because they sure don't act like ladies to me.
According to Animal Planet, since the farmers in the Middle Ages thought it was a miracle the way ladybugs ate only bad insects like aphids, these farmers were grateful to the little insects for saving their crops. In return, they called them ladybugs after Jesus' mother Mary, who was also called Our Lady. That may have been well and good when the ladybugs helped farmers, but these days they haven't help us at all. Our vegetables and fruit trees survive without their help while the
ladies are in the woods gorging themselves.

I was writing my next novel today, but now all I can do is itch all over after finding a ladybug crawling on my neck. Looking out the window in the late afternoon, I can still see them swarming about the house. Come on, November. Do your job and rid us of this infestation.

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