Shirley Thompson

North Shore Update

Type your title here.

Bees and Me

It has been awhile since I've given you all an update on what we've been up to.  Last time we had just received the van and I went to war with the Minnesota DMV.  We received a letter from the VA stating that we've been approved for the grant for purchasing a van and we need to send to them the sales agreement.  Oh, Oh, we already bought the van, now what!  I immediately called our service officer and he said to contact the dealer and have them send a sales agreement just like we were about to purchase the van.  He said the VA shouldn't know we already own the van.  I contacted our dealer and he emailed me a sales agreement and I looked at the form we were to return and didn't have a clue on how to finish filling it out.  I called our service officer again and he came out and looked at it.  He told me what to write and I did, then I sent it in.  It will probably be another 6 months before we hear anything from the VA again.  If this van was fast tracked I would hate to see what would happen if it had been an emergency.  By the time they finally get everything done it will be a year since we applied.  The letter from the VA also states that they will send me a letter when we get the van that will allow me to get license plates for free and renewals for free as long as we own the van.  Oh, Oh, another trip to the DMV and the nasty lady there.  I can't wait to find out how she is going to handle this one!  I also found out that she should not have taxed me on the mobility conversion on the van and I wonder how I'll get my money back.

Rich was at the VA hospital for 2 weeks for respite care and had all sorts of tests, therapy, etc.  He was impressed with the place and so was I.  He is clear as far as prostrate cancer so that is good news.  They set up some home nursing help for us for 3 mornings a week.  That helps a lot.  They also contaced an agency in Two Harbors to give me some respite care once in awhile.  So far that agency is still working on it so I haven't been able to get to Duluth or anywhere since we got home in early March.  I need to get to Duluth to get the cards I need for my photographs which will be in a show in  2 weeks.  Hope they come up with something soon or I'll be climbing the walls soon.

It is nice to have the van.  I've had Rich to the Split Rock Lighthouse, Palisaide Head, and into town to get a haircut and beard trim.  I've also taken him to the neurologist in Duluth and we got new batteries for his wheelchair while we were in Duluth.  Today he had his first Tai Chi class for MS patients and really liked it.  He goes everything Thursday morning at 10:30.  When he was done I took him to Culvers for lunch.  He then laid down for most of the afternoon so I was able to clean and mop the floors.

Gee, guess what!  I received a letter from Eau Claire County that I am on jury duty there this summer.  Failure to appear could mean a warrant for my arrest.  A couple of months ago I received a questionnaire and I called them and explained that I don't live in Eau Claire county anymore or even in the state of Wisconsin.  She told me to go online and fill out the questionnarie anyway and that would take care of it and I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.  After receiving the summons I called again and asked her how she expected me to call the number in the morning and make it to the courthouse in time to be ready for a trial.  I explained where I lived.  I told her I had filled out the questionnaire online but I still received a summons.  She looked me up and said that it shows the Minnesota address and that I shouldn't have received the letter.  She was going to alert the data processing department that something was wrong with the online form because it should have removed me immediately from the database because of the address.  She said I could toss out the letter.

It has been beautiful up here, great weather, just perfect.  On Monday I sat on the deck while Richard took a nap. I sat in my reclining lawn chair and pulled out the foot rest on it and laid back and closed my eyes.  The sun felt great and a slight breeze would drift over me just when I thought it was getting warm.  I opened my eyes to see a magnificent bald eagle gliding on the air current from the lake.  He had his wings outstretched and just glided on the current circling around the tree tops.  A short time later two hawks came gliding by.  It wasn't long before our resident pair of Goldfinches were at the bird feeders.  There was the male with his bright yellow plums and the female with her muted colors.  Then I could hear the the humingbirds arguing over the nectar in the humingburd feeder.  They would hover like little helicopters and dip their long beaks into the plastic flowers and drink; once in awhile they would perch on the perches of the feeder.  They are so tiny and I had never seen one stationairy before.  We have a lot of monarch butterflies flitting around with their bright colors.  Could anything be more perfect?  I looked out at the blue lake and along the shoreline where all of the different shades of green blended.  This has to be heaven I thought.  Then there came a buzzing sound.

Be bee; not a small bee either this one was huge.  I watched him and he flew off.  I laid back down and closed my eyes.  It wasn't long before the buzzing was back, I opened one eye but the buzzing stopped, I closed my eye and relaxed.  A while later I opened my eyes and sat up.  I need more ice tea.  I grabbed my glass in preparation for heading in for more tea.  I then noticed the bee very busy creating something under my deck railing.  I grabbed the poker I use for the fire pit and got up slowly and headed for the busy bee.  I then jabbed the poker at the beginnings of his nest and destroyed it.  Now I had a pissed off bee.  The poker didn't seem like much help as I swiped at the now dive bombing bee.  I swiped at the bee and when he took off over the deck to make a circle and come back I dopped the poker and sprinted for the patio door; I slid open the screen door, jumped inside, then slammed the screen door shut.  Just as the screen slid shut the bee hit the screen and the two cats laying by the door went nuts trying to grab the bee.  Good thing he was on the outside or they would have been stung for sure.  I ran to the kitchen and pulled open the drawer under the stove and grabbed the big spatula I use for the grill.  I headed for the patio door ready for battle.  The bee wasn't by the patio door and the cats were watching diligently for his return.  I slid open the screen door and stepped out onto the patio.  No bee.  I looked right, then looked left, no bee.  Then, out of nowhere, there he was aiming straight for me.  I swatted at him with the spatula and he flew off to reconnoiter.  I held the spatula like a baseball bat and prepared myself to take a good swing at him at he came in.  He flew in, I swung, I missed.  He flew out over the deck and I again prepared myself like a batter at the plate.  He came in again and I swung; I missed.  This isn't working I thought.  Okay, we need to rethink this.  I'm lousy at softball, I'm lousy at tennis, but I'm good a ping pong and badmitton.  Okay, I held the spatula like a badmitton racket and waited for the bee to return.  He flew in, I gave a war whoop and I swung; THWACK!  He bee sailed over the end of the deck.  I ran to the deck rail and looked over it.  There, on the rocks below, the body of the bee laid on one of the am.  Yippee!  I got him.  Then I thought, what if he is only stunned?  I quickly dropped the spatula next to the poker I had dropped earlier and headed for the house.  I yanked open the screen door and quickly slammed it shut.  I ran through the living room and out the front door.  I headed around the house to the front under the deck.  I scrambled over the rocks until I found the rock where the body of the bee lay.  He was still there.  I picked up a baseball size rock and SLAMMED it down on him.  Now I had a squished bee on the rock.  I got him!  I am Woman, I am strong.  I danced and sang. 

I finally settled down with my fresh glass of tea and closed my eyes to relax.  It wasn't long and I heard a buzzing.  I opened one I to see ANOTHER bee.  I quickly got up and looked over the side of the deck to see that the squished bee was still there.  This must be a relative.  I grabbed the spatula that was still where I dropped it and again gave a war whoop and went to war.  It wasn't long and there was a second dead bee on the rocks below the deck.

I heard Rich hollering from his bedroom.  "What the HELL is going on out there?" he yelled.  "I just killed two bees," I replied.  " With all of that pounding, banging, yelling, screaming, and what not going on I thought you were waging world war three out there," he yelled.  "Well," I replied, "I was.  It was a very persistant bee and his relative.  Two very BIG bees I might add.  I just saved our home and hearth from an invasion," I answered.  "Next time do it more quietly will you?  It is hard to take a nap with a war going on," Rich replied.

I get no respect. 

The next day when I went into town I stopped at Pamida to get some bee spray.  At the check out I ran into Olive from church.  "What's with the spray?"  she asked.  "I had a bee trying to build a nest on my deck and I need to make sure that doesn't happen," I replied.  Both the check out lady and Olive looked at me and both said, "You aren't planning on killing it are you?"  Oh, Oh, I thought.  "I want to discourage the bee from building a nest on my deck, they have the whole forest to build in."  I guess that was okay as long as I wasn't going to kill it.  I didn't mention the two dead bee bodies on the rocks below my deck I didn't think they could handle it or would appreciate it.