• 2015

Yearly Archives: 2015

Lying, for Safety.

A friend shared a link to Gretchen Kelly’s blog post, The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About, about the constant & everyday sexism women are exposed to. It’s a good read. (I did NOT read the comments & since it has now been picked up by HuffPo, I would suggest not even looking at them, unless it’s to give Gretchen kudos.)

I won’t catalog all of the everyday bullshit I’ve put up with over the years, there’s no time. But I guess it can all be summed up by this one experience I had while working in a toy store. Someone complained about a male employee’s behavior against me. I had complained on multiple occasions, but it all fell on deaf ears. I was 17 & I soldiered on. I freaking loved that job.

When our district manager finally got involved, I was asked to document the behavior. I made a list of the things that came most immediately to mind. It wasn’t anywhere near exhaustive. Copies were giving to everyone on the disciplinary panel. 

Every single woman cried while reading it. “I didn’t know how bad it was.” “I didn’t know you were dealing with this.”

Yes, they did know. I had told them. But everyone shrugged it off. In spite of the fact that I was a minor, everyone, me, my female coworkers & bosses, everyone shrugged it off. Because it’s so common that it’s NORMAL behavior.

Until my daughter became a teen, I never realized how much I LIE to men. Lies to de-escalate. Lies to make distance. Often lies about my husband being nearby or on the way & definitely lies about having a husband or boyfriend in times when I didn’t. And lies that are an opportunity to work my husband into a conversation (My husband LOVES that movie! etc).

It’s the sick, fucked up fact that some men will respect the idea of a husband more than they respect my comfort or wellbeing.

I recently lied to a creepy patron, because I went to the library after hours & he was lurking in the bushes (innocently using the wifi, but he hid from me & then scared me. He was recently out of prison & had been asking overly personal questions about me earlier than afternoon). In a fraction of a second, I lied & said the silent alarm had gone off. That if I didn’t call in, they’d send a cop out.

The speed which that lie rolled off my tongue was unnerving. My teen daughter saw the whole exchange. Earlier that day, I had lied & told him that I don’t USUALLY work alone, usually I have a partner, she was just out that day.

We teach kids not to lie. To always be honest. But screw that. Lie all you want, sweetie, if it gets you out of a scary situation. Hell, lie to the possibly nice guy, because you can. not. tell. which ones are going to freak out at you for giving them an honest “no, thank you”.

I know how screwed up that is, but it wasn’t born in a vacuum. Sadly, all men get to lie in the bed that their crappy brethren made, because my safety & my daughter’s safety is more important. Many, many women know how quickly things can get violent.

Lavender Fields Forever

Last fall, we took a trip to a local U-Pick lavender farm. It was their last weekend before closing for the season so we could pick an entire basket for $5. They also grow rows of flowers & we could mix & match our basket.

It was a lovely time. We enjoyed watching the bees buzz-ily gathering supplies for the cooler weather.

We also took a lot of lovely photos & got this recipe for Lavender Lemonade.

Lavender1

lavender2

Lavender Lemonade
A refreshing lavender lemonade, perfect for a hot summer day, or as a unique potluck contribution.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups water, divided
  2. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons dried lavender blossoms
  4. 1 cup lemon juice
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups of water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Remove from the heat; add lavender blossoms.
  3. Let stand at least one hour.
  4. Strain to remove lavender blossoms.
  5. Stir in remaining water and lemon juice, adding more water depending on taste.
  6. Serve over ice.
Notes
  1. Make sure your lavender flowers have not been sprayed with pesticides.
When The Bee Stings http://whenthebeestings.com/

Google Maps Turns Disneyland Map in a PAC-MAN Game!

For April Fool’s Day 2015, Google Maps built a game that turns their maps into a PAC-MAN game!

Infest Disneyland with PAC-MAN ghosts & race down Main Street to devour them by looking up Disneyland on Google Maps, zooming in a bit, then center the park on the right half of the screen. Then click the square at the bottom, to turn the map into your very own Disneyland PAC-MAN game!

Google Maps PAC-MAN Disneyland Map
I’m hoping Google will allow us to play this even after April Fool’s Day.

Ladybug Metamorphosis Photo Essay

We were so lucky to have a large ladybug hatch in our yard. I spotted their larva munching on some weeds we were about to pull & we watched them like a hawk for weeks.

Would you recognize this as a ladybug larva? It looks quite alien, no? 

ladybug larva

After they get their fill, the larvae find something to attach themselves to & enter the pupal stage. In this photo, you can see the larval legs up top & the newly forming leg buds of the ladybird beetles final shape. The segments on the very bottom are actually going to form the beetles’ face. The ladybug pupa completely turns around inside in its metamorphosis! 

Ladybug Pupa 1

Here, you can see the ladybug pupa’s permanent legs growing & darkening. Also notice what was the larval skin is shriveling.

Ladybug Pupa 3

The pupa’s face gets darker as it changes.

Ladybug Pupa 2

Happy birthday, ladybug! The ladybug emerges from its shed pupal skin. There’s some neat metamorphosis vocabulary about this stage. The adult ladybug still in its pupal case is called a “pharate”. The shed pupal case (the larva’s skin!) is called the “exuvia”. The verb for coming out of the pupal case is “eclose”.

Ladybug Metamorphosis 2

Ladybug Metamorphosis 3

Ladybug Metamorphosis

Shortly after the pharate adult has eclosed (using those new words!), its elytra (fore wings) are soft & light yellow. And no spots!

Ladybug Soft Wings

Ladybug Newly Emerged

Like the majority of beetles, adult ladybugs have two sets of wings. They do not fly with the wings that we can see. The elytra are hard wing-coverings for their delicate true wings (hind wings). Now the ladybug has to stretch out its hind wings until the blood in the veins dry & harden permanently.

Did you know ladybugs had these hidden wings? You rarely see them unless they’re in flight!

Ladybug Drying Wings

The ladybug is getting harder & darker & spots are appearing.

Ladybug Spots Forming

Almost done! The ladybird beetle is now dark orange, and on its way to turning dark red as the elytra continue to harden. We took this ladybug outside & it flew away, off to eat over 5,000 aphids in its life!

Ladybug Turning Red